Tributes have been paid to a ‘fun’ and ‘caring’ market stall holder who ‘lived life to the fullest’.

Sylvia Foster died at the age of 79 from a brain haemorrhage.

She was born in Westhoughton and never left the area because she very much loved being a part of the community.

She was known to many in the area for her vibrant character at Westhoughton Market where she would sell fruit and vegetables, then later selling bedding with her first husband Tony Foster before he died in 1986.

The couple were together for 23 years.

Sylvia and Tony mainly worked at Bolton and Salford Markets along with Hindley and Wigan.

Her daughter Kristina Hodgkinson described her mum as having the ‘gift of the gab’.

Kristina added: “She liked to go to Westhoughton Market and have a chat.

The Bolton News: Sylvia and son Philip who died four years agoSylvia and son Philip who died four years ago

“When the weather was nicer, she used to sit and have a chat.

“A lot of people will remember her for that.”

Growing up, Sylvia was described as a ‘bit of a tomboy’ and was always ‘getting in trouble’ in school for laughing or causing mischief.

Kristina added: “She was a bit of a character.

“She was fun, full of life, hardworking, caring, and a generous person who sadly felt lonely nearing the end of her life.

“She would drag people up to go dancing and she really was the life and soul of the party.”

Kristina says that her mum was always very welcoming to those in the community and has remained friends with many of them for more than 50 years.

She said: “She was always thinking of others.

“She took food that she made to a hub and she didn't like freezing food, so if she made too much she give it to her neighbours.

The Bolton News: Sylvia and familySylvia and family

Sylvia went to primary school on Central Drive, which is now a community centre.

She then went to Senior Girls on Bolton Road (now Westhoughton High), where she continued to get into trouble for laughing, and was frequently being sent to the headmistress for spelling things wrong, although in later years Sylvia felt she may have had dyslexia.

She left school when she was 15 and went into the mill as a cotton winder at Lostock and then went onto the Balloon Works at Daisy Hill.

Kristina added: “She liked her life and her holidays.

“In later years she became interested in theatre and we got to see Les Misérables, and The Lion King.

“She hadn’t a clue about Les Misérables, but she thought it was absolutely brilliant.”

Kristina says the thing she will miss the most is not being able to ‘speak to her mum’.

She said: “We used to both ring each other or ring my aunty Florence Ormrod.

“When Florence passed away it hit her because her brother Selwyn Unsworth died in November.

“We would always look out for each other.”

The Bolton News: Sylvia

Throughout her life Sylvia travelled to many places across the world including skiing in Italy, and visiting Germany, Turkey, and many more places.

Due to her mobility issues later in life she had plans to stay local and her next plan was to visit Grasmere and revisit Coniston, which was a place frequently visited, where her children went on a speed boat.

Kristina also said that her mum could also be very ‘stubborn’ at times and would always speak her mind.

Her family were always very close to her, and she looked forward to Sunday dinners with her grandchildren when they were younger.

Sylvia had three children, Peter, Kristina, and Philip who tragically died after a battle with cancer.

The Bolton News: From left to right at the back: Aunty Florence, Sylvia, Kristina, nieces Suzanne and AdeleFrom left to right at the back: Aunty Florence, Sylvia, Kristina, nieces Suzanne and Adele

She later went on to live with Ian who she was with for 14 years, before he died in 2000.

Sylvia died on February 21.

The funeral will be held on Thursday March 9, and donations can be made to Cat’s Guidance Rescue, in memory of Sylvia’s love for animals.

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