Her varied career saw her work at a number of local schools, open an award-winning retro games shop and form an unlikely friendship with a pop star from Finland. She and Barry, her husband, were perhaps best known on the coast for running the Upstairs Downstairs and Retro 36 shops, both in St Nicholas Street.
Born in Scarborough, she grew up in Cromwell Terrace, where her parents ran a boarding house. She went to St Martin’s Primary School and Scarborough Convent School, before going to work in Finland as an au pair. There, she formed a lifelong friendship with her host family’s daughter, who went on to become a successful recording artist.
After returning to Britain, she took a job at a primary school in Walsall, where she met Barry. They moved to Scarborough in 1970 and married at Holy Trinity Church.
She taught at East Ayton Primary, before she and Barry opened Upstairs Downstairs in April 1974, selling modern gifts and basketware. Two years later, they opened a gift shop called Expansion and in 1980, the first dedicated Athena shop, Eaton Place, on St Nicholas Street.
Later, she worked alongside her son John, one of twins, at Retro 36, which specialised in nostalgic games, toys and film collectables.