A COLOURFUL eccentric left a substantial legacy to the hospital she refused to stay in for fear no-one would look after her cat properly.
Staff at Tarporley War Memorial Hospital are delighted with the £99,000 bequest from reluctant patient Phyllis Rowland, despite the fact she was often known to walk out.
The gesture is typical of the well-known character, whose unusual behaviour has been the talk of the town for many years.
Niece Edwina Vernon, 61, said her aunt, who lived most of her 94 years in Forest Road, Tarporley, was full of spirit, so much so she drove a bright red GT mini until she was 90.
'She was ice skating well into her 60's,' said Edwina. 'When she started having difficulties walking she said it was probably a good idea if she started using rollerblades.
'She always had a sparkle in her eye. She was an extrovert and loved being the centre of attention. She could mix with any age group.'
Phyllis would prepare her own birthday party every year. 'She would invite guests for specific times so she had someone there from 8am up till 8pm at night,' recalled Edwina.
'The obstinate pensioner was an avid fan of snooker - but only on a black and white TV.
'I bought her a colour one and she said it wasn't as good on it,' said Edwina.
Passers-by were used to seeing Phyllis, who died last September, gardening or decorating both inside and outside her three-storey home.
Although she never married and had no children, she corresponded with an Italian admirer for 60 years.
Edwina said: 'After she died I found a pile of letters from 1939 right up to the year 2000 from a handsome Italian who told her he loved her in every single letter and wanted her to live with him in Italy.'
Phyllis left money to 30 or 40 people requesting the remainder of her estate to be given to the hospital.
'She always told me she was leaving money to the hospital because she didn't believe people should have to go to Chester or Crew,' said Edwina.
'She felt if she wasn't in Tarporley her friends couldn't visit. She always appreciated the care and said it was excellent. The majority of the people she left money to were friends. She never forgot if someone helped her.' email@example.com