Graham & Sonia Tipper

A potted history of our journey to Mellor

Having grown up in Derbyshire we arrived in Lancashire 23 years ago as a result of a move within the company I was working for at the time. I grew up in a small village about 16 miles from Derby on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border and after attending the village primary school moved to the local grammar school in Uttoxeter, a town quite well known for its racecourse. In the sixth form I met Sonia who had grown up on her parents’ farm just outside the town.

On leaving school I joined Rolls Royce (Aero Engines) Ltd in Derby where I trained for my accountancy qualification while Sonia went to Keele University where she graduated with a joint honours degree in Mathematics and Geography and subsequently taught Mathematics at a comprehensive school not far from Derby. We married in 1970 and in 1977 moved from Derbyshire to Charlbury in Oxfordshire, supposedly the smallest town in England, but to us it was just a village. By this time Caroline was three years old and Stephen was born not long after we moved there although sadly he died just six years ago, aged 24, of a brain haemorrhage while on holiday in Australia.

While living in Oxfordshire I joined the Smurfit Group, a company in the paper and packaging industry and it was with them that I moved to a post at their paper and board mill in Burnley and so to Mellor in 1985. I well remember driving back to Oxfordshire after my first visit to the mill in the previous November. As I drove down the motorway towards Bury and looked across at the steam billowing into the dark night sky from the Sterling Stubbins paper mill at Ramsbottom I wondered what sort of a place I had agreed to move to from the rolling hills of the Cotswolds!

Strange how first impressions can be so deceiving.

In 2001 I rejoined Stork Cooperheat Ltd, a heat treatment company I had worked for in the late 1990s, as Financial Controller before becoming General Manager in 2004, a role which has enabled me to travel to places such as Malaysia, India, Saudi Arabia and France visiting both clients and other group companies. It was from this role that I took early retirement in February as a result of which I am enjoying a more relaxed life style working on occasional temporary assignments.

As the children grew up Sonia taught mathematics in a variety of secondary schools, eventually spending almost 20 years at Rhyddings in Oswaldtwistle before taking early retirement in July 2005.

Wherever we have lived we have been involved with the local parish church being variously a member of the PCC, Treasurer, Secretary, sidesman and Sunday School teacher. I was also a member of Round Table in my younger days and I am now a member of the Rotary Club of Blackburn Borough.

Sonia is also a member of the Mellor Community First Responder group.

We are now also looking forward to a new experience as grandparents as Caroline and her husband Malcolm are expecting a baby in September.

Living in Mellor is undoubtedly one of the better experiences in life. We feel so lucky to have found such a friendly village in such an area of outstanding beauty and look forward to enjoying it for many years to come.

Graham and Sonia Tipper