Octagon theatre pays tribute as ‘Mrs C’ dies at 90
AGNES Crook, who was honoured by the Queen for her services to the Octagon Theatre, has died, aged 90.
Mrs Crook, from Egerton, was the Octagon’s administrator when it opened in 1967 and was given an MBE at Buckingham Palace after more than 20 years’ service at the theatre.
She died last month, after suffering kidney failure, after a long battle with illness.
Her son Peter said that his “hard-working” mother left people “wanting for nothing” and that she was always very positive, despite losing her husband more than 24 years ago.
Formerly a shorthand typist at Bolton Town Hall, Mrs Crook was born within 100 yards of her final home in Egerton, and lived in Bolton for the whole of her life.
She was a member of St John Ambulance for nearly 70 years and volunteered for Bolton Community and Voluntary Services and Bolton Cardiac Support Group.
She married Ronald Crook at St Paul’s in Astley Bridge during the Second World War.
Mrs Crook’s husband also worked at the Octagon, as a bar manager, and they would regularly socialise at work until she retired in her mid-60s.
Peter, aged 65, a retired technician who lived with his mum throughout his life, said: “She was a very hard-working person, who was not frightened of hard graft.
“People that grow to a ripe old age these days tend to be ones who never seemed afraid of putting some extra effort in.
“No one in the family ever wanted for anything and meals were always ready for you when you got in from work, even though she had been at work herself a lot of the time.
“She was a very jolly person who never let anything get her down.”
Mrs Crook attended Walmsley Primary School and the Commercial College in Great Moor Street, in the 1920s and 1930s.
She first worked for the Octagon in a temporary structure outside while the main theatre was being built and never found out who recommended her for the MBE.
Her funeral was held on Tuesday at the United Reformed Church in Egerton — formerly the Congregational Church — which she attended throughout her life.
A spokesman for all the staff at the Octagon said: “Affectionately known as ‘Mrs C’, Mrs Crook was an amazing lady.
“She was a hard-working and efficient person and a wonderful asset to the theatre, eventually becoming secretary to the trust.”
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