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Paxton honours mother of ‘Chariots of Fire’ hero

Unveiling of a commemorative plaque to Mary Reddin, formerly of Paxton Village (and mother of Eric Liddell)
pictured, from the left: Lynda Colston, Chair of Hutton & Paxton Community Council,  Sue Caton, grand-daughter of Mary Reddin, and Bill Landale, Minister of Hutton & Paxton Church.

Unveiling of a commemorative plaque to Mary Reddin, formerly of Paxton Village (and mother of Eric Liddell) pictured, from the left: Lynda Colston, Chair of Hutton & Paxton Community Council, Sue Caton, grand-daughter of Mary Reddin, and Bill Landale, Minister of Hutton & Paxton Church.

A memorial plaque marking the birthplace of Mary Reddin, mother of Olympic gold medallist Eric Liddell, has been unveiled in Paxton by her granddaughter Susan Caton.

Mary was not only the mother of one of the country’s most famous athletes, whose story is told in the Oscar winning film ‘Chariots of Fire’, she was also a remarkable woman.

Having been brought up in Paxton where her father Henry Reddin was the village blacksmith, Mary trained as a nurse. She joined her fiancee James, a missionary, in Mongolia, northern China.

The Liddell children were all born in China and Robert and his younger brother Eric were sent to school in England, spending summer holidays with their Berwickshire relatives.

Eric excelled at sports and seemed on course for a gold medal in 100m at the Paris Olympic Games in 1924, but on discovering the heats were on a Sunday he turned his back on it. Instead he started training for the 400m and won a gold medal.

Eric’s story was told in ‘Chariots of Fire’. Now Paxton residents are ensuring that his mother is also remembered.

Hutton & Paxton Community Council funded the plaque, assisted by the Scottish Borders Council’s Community Grant Scheme, and community councillors and church board and session members attended the ceremony next to Paxton Church.

 

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