Jan 23 2014 by Sophie McCoid, Ormskirk Advertiser
TRIBUTES have been paid to popular author and Ormskirk historian Mona Duggan after her death last week.
Mona died aged 87 on January 14 after spending four days in Southport Hospital.
Mona was well known in the Ormskirk community, primarily as a noted local historian.
She wrote numerous books about the history of West Lancashire and her final book Sugar For The House, a history of the sugar industry in north-west England, was published last year.
Her views about a local planning proposal relating to an historic building were reported in The Advertiser only last week.
Mona Chadwick was born and brought up in Blackpool as an only child. Her parents worked in the building trade, working most notably on the Tower Ballroom and Blackpool Pier. Her father organised building projects and hired workers.
She went to a convent school from the age of four until she was 18 and then went to St Katherine’s College, Keswick, to study as a primary school teacher.
Mona moved to West Lancashire and took up a post at St Andrew's Primary School in 1953, when she married an Aintree man, Heaton Duggan; romance had blossomed after they met at the top of a deserted mountain in the Lake District and she asked for directions.
He owned Bowers Radio in Maghull for many years and died in 2006.
After many years as a housewife and devoted mother to her children, Ross and Janet, who have enjoyed successful law and medical careers respectively, Mona developed her lifelong interest in local history.
She was prominent in many local organisations and regularly lectured to clubs and societies both in West Lancashire and further afield.
Mona resumed her formal education by joining the Open University when she was in her fifties. She took courses in the ancient Greeks and the Age of Enlightenment, rediscovering her love of history. She obtained her PhD from Lancaster University at the age of 66 and her thesis was published as Ormskirk :The Making Of A Modern Town, she then went on to lecture at Liverpool University.
Mona was a loyal member of Ormskirk Emmanuel Methodist Church, where her life is to be celebrated on Thursday January 23 at 12:15pm.
Declining health forced Mona to move to Aughton Park Care Home in mid-2013.
Her Son Ross said: “Mum greatly appreciated the exemplary care from the Methodist Homes for the Aged staff and organisation.
“When she died in Southport Hospital she displayed her customary cheerful approach to the end.”
Jean Gidman. librarian of the Ormskirk & District Family History Society, knew Mona well and paid tribute to her.
She said: “I first met Mona when we did two courses together with the Open University 35 years ago. Since then we have kept in touch and she has been a good friend throughout the years.
“She has helped and encouraged me with my own historical research, the period of which did not coincide with hers, so we never clashed. “Latterly I helped her with the technology when she gave one of her talks to local societies.
“She has been a member of the Ormskirk & District Family History Society for a number of years and has given them talks and helped with the information she has gathered over the years. “As a member of the society she will be greatly missed. However her memory will still be with us as she has donated a large proportion of her materials to the society.
“Since she has been in the care home I managed to visit her regularly and we had a great time talking about what we were both interested in, not only the past but what we were doing and thinking of now. I am missing her a great deal, she was a wonderful person.”
Did you know Mona or have you read her books? Send your memories and tributes to sophie.mccoid@trinitymirror. com or tweet sophie, @mccoidsophie and we will include them in The Advertiser.