Jim and Anne, Mam and Dad

by Alan, Elaine, Angela and Philip Ramage

Jim and Anne Ramage, our parents. Forty-five years they’ve been married. Forty-five years of love, respect and friendship. Forty-five years of living in the same house, in the same street, in the same village, North Skelton.

Jim, eldest child of five of Fred and Annie Ramage was brought up in Lingdale. He grew up in the quaintly named “Nannygoat Mansion” with his grandparents. Although his father had a love of music and was the conductor of Lingdale Silver Band, Jim was always a great sports lover. Football and cricket were, and still are, the only real sports to get a mention of any worth in our house.

Anne, middle child of five of George and Helena Berwick is North Skelton born and bred. George became the village grocer and general dealer in the shop next to Curly Tops (which now needs a good sorting out by the look of it!). A former Carnival Queen who was crowned in North Skelton “Tute”, she already had her eye on a handsome stranger.

They met through one of Jim’s other great loves, football. George, Anne’s father was also the Sir Alex Ferguson of the day, managing the North Skelton Football team. Having an eye for drafting in talented footballers, George went far and wide, and finally found his own David Beckham playing on the fields of Lingdale. Jim Ramage. Quite a signing for North was Jim, having had played semi-professional football for both Leeds United and Stockton Football Club. They could have been the Posh and Becks of their day, him a talented, good looking footballer, her the glamour queen daughter of a grocery baron!!

Now you would never believe this but as the story goes it was Anne who did the chasing. With a ten year age gap, granddad George wasn’t too keen at first. His young beloved daughter with an older handsome “Lindaler” with a penchant for sharp suits. As they say though, love conquers all and they married on 24 March 1956 in Skelton Chapel. He whisked her off to Ackworth in Yorkshire for the honeymoon, where they stayed with Anne’s aunt and Uncle (he really knows how to show a woman a good time does Jim!).

They initially lived with Anne’s grandmother, Rose Ellen Harrison in Richard Street, whilst Jim gutted the house where they still live. The house had been a shop, owned by an old lady so Jim had his work cut out to gut it from top to bottom. They named the house “The Shell” because from the living room floor you could see up to the rafters of the roof. Jim took two years to rebuild the house inside and rumour has it around some parts that he hasn’t done anything since!

Anyway, let’s cut now to the present day. What are Posh and Becks doing now? Pretty much the same really. Jim, having just celebrated his 75th birthday a couple of weeks ago, still plays for Skelton Castle Cricket Club (where he was made Player of the Year a couple of years ago). It still means as much to him now as it always has to play well and give a good performance. Anne, due to celebrate her 65th birthday in a couple of weeks still has the beauty queen looks with the heart and soul to match. All of that and she still finds time to work too!

A massive source of pride and inspiration to all of us, their children, probably the most amazing thing about them is the fact that they are still doing the same now as they always have. They have just always been there. Always loving, solid, utterly reliable and loyal beyond belief. Throughout peoples lives and comings and goings, nothing has changed in the Ramage household. As a family we are all proud of the exceptional bond we have, but as their children, we are all just as proud of what our parents also give to other people which they probably don’t even realise they do.

To finish, we would just like to leave you with this mam and dad. There is a saying that “you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends”. We feel privileged that you were chosen as our family and even more privileged that you have also chosen to be our friends. We all love you very much.

Alan, Elaine, Angela and Philip Ramage

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