Coming together to share happy memories at Harrogate’s Light up a Life service

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Margaret Booker, 89, from Harrogate, has made a Light up a Life dedication every year for six years to remember her husband Ken.

For Margaret, the Crimple House event is particularly special, as the location is steeped in history for her and her family. She said: “My father was in the Home Guard in Crimple Valley, and when the now-hospice building was home to ICI, my husband Ken worked there as a joiner, and I as a waitress – however we didn’t meet until many years later.

“Ken and I met in 1960 at a local pub in Markington – he asked if he could buy me a drink – and I remember he said to one of his friends: ‘This is the woman I’m going to marry!’”

Six years later, Margaret and Ken tied the knot at St Joseph’s Church in Bishop Thornton, enjoying 44 years of marriage before Ken sadly died at Saint Michael’s Hospice in 2010.

“Saint Michael’s is a place that is so uplifting. Of course there is sadness too, but everyone there makes the atmosphere so positive. Light up a Life is the same – everyone comes together to think about happy memories.

“When the tree is illuminated, it’s breath-taking.

“There’s often a tear, but I always come away from the event with a lot of happy feelings.”

This year, as well as hanging a memory star on the Saint Michael’s Christmas tree, two special stars will be winging their way across the globe to Australia, where Margaret’s son-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will hang them in tribute to Margaret’s late daughter, Valerie.