Obituary: Jean and Tony Greenslade

Jean Haggart Greenslade, with her charming Scottish lilt, was born on May 26th, 1933, in Bonnyrigg, Scotland to Jane and William Campbell. She attended Bonnyrigg Primary and Lasswade secondary schools, followed by commercial college for secretarial studies.

James Anthony Greenslade, or Tony as he was known to many, was born on January 12th, 1936, in Epsom, Surrey, to Irene and Alexander Greenslade. He pursued his passion for engineering at Merchant Taylors school, Bootle Technical College, and Heriot-Watt College in Edinburgh, gaining his Institute of Electrical Engineering and later his Institute of Mechanical Engineering certifications.

Their story together began in 1955 at the New Cavendish Ballroom in Edinburgh. A joyous engagement followed in 1957, culminating in a beautiful wedding at Cockpen church in 1958. Together, they embarked on a life filled with love, adventure and 65 remarkable years of marriage.

Their life together unfolded across various locations, including Edinburgh (where David was born in 1960), Manchester (where Denise joined the family in 1963), Duffield, Rustington, Dartford, and Fareham, before finally settling in Kirkham, Lancashire, in 1988.

My memories of them bloom most vividly in the Kirkham years. Their home, with its seemingly endless supply of malt loaf and the flip-up footrest chairs (that I thought were magic), became a place I enjoyed visiting. Grandma, helped me navigate the world of logic puzzles and generously provided me with my own copies of Puzzler magazine. Grandad’s passion for trains and engineering was readily shared along with enthusiastic explanations of scientific principles using coloured glass and magnifying lenses. Books and newspaper supplements were saved for my visits, and there were trips to the Kirkham cafe where I discovered the joy of lime milkshakes. Grandad also introduced me to the world of computers and games, leading to many train simulation challenges (which I usually managed to crash!).

Beyond Kirkham, they took me on memorable journeys: exploring Albert Dock’s history, visiting the Cosgrove Hall exhibition (which ignited my love for narratives like “The Wind in the Willows”); exploring the Lake District by train/boat and visiting Beatrix Potter landmarks; and enjoying countless narrated adventures atop double-decker buses, steam trains and open trams. Together, we embarked on adventures: trips to garden centres (where we ate omelettes, and bought niknacks but never looked at plants!), explorations along the Lytham seafront, and journeys through miniature villages. I also fondly remember the magical world of Rupert Bear brought to life on stage, a testament to Grandma’s love and support for my brother’s, her grandchild’s, interests.

A few years after I got my own car, I embarked on a special road trip with my grandad, revisiting places filled with his personal stories and, of course, a delicious pub lunch. In my final conversations with Grandma, her voice, imbued with that familiar Scottish lilt, spoke of immense love and gratitude. She acknowledged my brother Matt’s unwavering support over the past few years and cherished the “lovely girls” that her grandsons had found.

Though their physical journeys have ended, Tony on August 11th, 2023 and Jean on February 11th, 2024, their legacy lives on. They leave behind, as Thucydides phrased it, “not words engraved on stone monuments but the memories woven into the lives of others.”

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