Home » History » Bollington People » Coyne, Eric (1920-2016) & Betty née Snape (1930-2023)

Coyne, Eric (1920-2016) & Betty née Snape (1930-2023)

Eric Coyne in uniformAs a child, Eric Coyne lived at 18 Lord Street. He remembered seeing Heaver’s brewery at Higher mills (Dyers Close today) on fire in 1931. His father was farm bailiff at the Salesians, Shrigley Hall. He had two brothers, Reginald and Norman (both runners) and a sister.

His war service was mostly stationed in the Middle East. However, he was at Lubeck at war’s end searching 15,000 prisoners with Col. Ellwood (from Macclesfield) in charge. He was in India in 1942 when Gandhi was jailed.

He worked at Clarence mill before WWII and at Adelphi mill after demob. He retired in 1982 and died in June 2016 aged 96.

Eric was a member of the Territorial Army (TA) and was awarded the TD.

He recalled his school friend, Lewis Page, was picking match sticks from the ground and got hit by the laundry van and suffered serious injury to his face. The White Nancy Steam Laundry was another business located at Higher mills at the end of Church Street.

Elizabeth 'Betty' Evans SnapeBetty, christened Elizabeth Evans Snape, died in January 2023, aged 93, having lived in Bollington for most of her long life. During World War II she met, whilst she was working on the counters at Woolworth, an American soldier, GI Joseph Tondreau, and they married a year later. She then travelled unaccompanied across the Atlantic and emigrated to Massachusetts in New England where her daughter, Jeanette (Jeannie) Tondreau, was born. The Tondreau family originated in Canada and spoke a lot of French.

The marriage did not last and Betty and her infant daughter came back to Bollington to live with her parents on Red Lion Brow, in High Street, under the shadow of White Nancy.

In 1954 Betty was remarried to Eric Coyne and later moved to Elmsway and then Archer Close in Bollington. They celebrated their Diamond Wedding in 2015 receiving congratulations from Her Majesty, our late Queen Elizabeth II, and a personal visit from the Mayor of Bollington.

Born a Snape, Betty was descended from a long line of the Snape family that lived in Bollington and contributed so much to the community.

Betty worked variously at W. & A. E. Sherratt, dyers and printers, in Ingersley Vale, Shrigley Dyers at the end of Church Street and lastly, Patterson’s light bulb factory at Lowerhouse.

In her final years, Betty’s health deteriorated and she lived at Genesis Care Home in Macclesfield for seven years and then spent three months in Macclesfield Hospital before a final five weeks at River Meadows Nursing Home in Shrewsbury.

Betty and Eric are reunited with her ashes placed in the memorial garden at St John’s Church, once again beneath the shadow of White Nancy.

Betty’s daughter, Jeanette, worked for Zena Greeve (née Perkin) in her hairdressing salon on Palmerston Street where she met and subsequently later married, Peter Greeve, Zena and Albert’s son. Betty had two grandchildren.


The webmaster is most grateful to Peter Greeve for providing all the historical information and pictures of his family, the Coynes and the Greeves.