Wayne Hemingway’s mum was a pioneer of seaside cool

Maureen with (from left) daughter in law Gerardine, son Wayne, and grandchildren....
Maureen with (from left) daughter in law Gerardine, son Wayne, and grandchildren....

When Maureen Hemingway gave birth to a baby boy in January 1961, having a child out of wedlock was frowned upon.

But Maureen did what she always liked to do and defied society conventions, bravely - and correctly - deciding to keep the baby to bring him up as a single parent with support from her parents Colin and Ida in their home on Thirlmere Drive, Morecambe.

Wayne Hemingway's mum and dad, Maureen and Billy Two Rivers.

Wayne Hemingway's mum and dad, Maureen and Billy Two Rivers.

Maureen could not have been prouder when her son Wayne grew up to become one of Britain’s most successful designers and an in-demand TV personality.

Wayne Hemingway has often praised his stylish mum for the influence she had on his thriving career, which can be traced to her youth growing up in 1950s Morecambe.

Maureen, who has died aged 78, will be remembered fondly as a devoted mum and grandma, and friend to many.

She was born on September 28 1936. Originally from Kirkby Lonsdale, the family settled in Morecambe when Maureen was very young.

She blossomed into a beautiful teenager who made her own clothes and attended Morecambe Grammar School.

As a fashion-conscious young woman, she hung out at Brubeck’s Coffee Bar in the resort and was a member of the cool ‘Brubeck’s Set’.

Then she met Billy Two Rivers, a Native American Indian and heavyweight wrestling champion, when he was in town for wrestling events at the Winter Gardens. This unlikely coming together of cool 1960 Morecambe and the chief of the Kahnawake tribe of Quebec, Canada, resulted in a surprise pregnancy, and their son Wayne.

Billy left and Maureen had to bring up Wayne alone, supported by her parents, and by sometimes holding down several jobs at a time.

In 1968, Maureen married Peter Winder and they moved to Blackburn with Wayne.

They divorced in 1985 and in 1986, Maureen married George Edward Adamson.They ran a successful grass machinery business in Garstang until his death in 2003.

In her later years, she loved to visit Wayne, his wife Gerardine and children Jack, Tilly, Corey and Beck at their 
family home in Sussex. She was so proud of all of them.

Maureen holidayed with the family in Australia and South Africa and campaigned on behalf of animals, having been an animal lover all her life. In her 70s, she even did a 14-hour climb and descent of Mount Kilimanjaro. Maureen also loved returning to Morecambe and the recent Vintage-by-the-Sea festivals, organised by Wayne and his family in 2013 and 2014.

A service to celebrate Maureen’s life will be held at Lancaster and Morecambe Crematorium this Saturday at 10.15am. The family have asked for no flowers, just donations to The Born Free Foundation.