Lauren Court Resident recalls a life of shop keeping and dancingThis month at Blacon residential care home, the Resident in the spotlight is 97-year-old Rhoda McInerney. 

Rhoda was born in the 1920s and named after her Aunt, who helped raise her financially, helping to buy her clothes and other things that she needed. 

Rhoda met her husband Steve dancing, and they used to love their weekly trips to the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool, Rhoda particularly loved to dance the Foxtrot. Steve had just come out of military service, serving as a signaller in the Royal Air Force. Steve bought a shop using his savings from his time in the forces, they went straight into the business without a honeymoon.

“It was very hard work, but there were good times too”, Rhoda smiled. 

Their son, David, followed in 1955 and Rhoda remembered how he would be in the shop in his pram and some customers would occasionally ask if they could take him up into town. As David grew bigger, he would play in the shop, “He would play in the big boxes that all the cornflakes used to come in,” she recalled.

Eventually the chemist next door also went up for sale and they decided to buy that shop too to turn into a gift shop. Every Sunday became the day that they would drive to the warehouse in Manchester and get stock for the following week. 

They would never have a holiday as they were always so busy with the shop, but Rhoda was able to take David to Blackpool some weekends and enjoy the amusements that Blackpool had to offer.

Rhoda and Steve had their shop for 43 years before retiring after some difficulties with burglaries. 

Rhoda was asked if she has any advice for anyone setting up a shop today: “Enjoy life without the shop…make the most of life.”

Rebecca Jackson, Wellbeing Coordinator, commented, “Getting to listen to the stories that our Residents have is always a privilege. Rhoda’s story is particularly one of hard work and determination which goes to show just how amazing a person Rhoda is!”