ABOUT 100 relatives and friends attended the funeral of New Forest Cycling Club stalwart Margaret Gannaway on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 19.
Margaret (82) had fought a long and debilitating battle with cancer for the previous two years at her home in Lymington and, at the end of her life, in the town’s Oakhaven Hospice.
For many years she had been a respected and much appreciated timekeeper at club and open time trials in the Bournemouth and Southampton area.
When Poole Wheelers organised its annual 12 hour time trial, Margaret was a regular timekeeper on the finishing circuit. She also was the finish timekeeper when New Forest CC staged the National Championship 50-mile won by Phil Griffiths in 1979.
In 2014 she was awarded the prestigious Ray Price Award for services to the sport in Cycling Time Trials’ South District.
It was cycling that brought Margaret and husband Chris together. In the mid-1950s she worked at an estate agency and had a friend who was a club member. Margaret helped her out by typing up the club newsletter and, as a result, got an invitation to the club’s annual dinner dance.
She and young club member Chris got chatting and he ended up seeing her home safely back to Bransgore: by bike, of course. They became a couple and married in in July 1957.
They had three children: Carol (now deceased), John and Sarah.
As the children grew, Margaret took a job as a lifeguard and swimming instructor at Lymington Sea Water Swimming Baths.
Chris said Margaret had given up work when they married and in addition to bringing up the children, supported his racing. “She rode the odd time trial but didn’t really get on with it,” he said.
Nevertheless she was no slouch because she once held the Bournemouth and District Women’s CA’s Ringwood to Cadnam and Back record.
She and Chris enjoyed touring in Britain using Youth Hostels for their overnight stops.
She occasionally helped out serving teas at club events and then, at the age of about 30, was taught the mathematical skills needed to become a timekeeper by Mary Boughey.
Along with Mary and Bert Sprackland they held the watches at club events for many years.
Chris said: “I think she taught every timekeeper who’s come through since.”
In later years Margaret worked at the Lymington Tourist Information Centre, retiring at the age of 70.
She was also served a spell as New Forest CC club secretary and had been on Lymington Swimming Club committee.
In addition to Chris, John and Sarah, she leaves a brother David and nine grandchildren.