Never let yourself be limited....
This mini bio is one of four which I contributed to The Honourable Ladies Volume 2
Full name Candice Kathleen Atherton Date of birth 21st September 1955
Place of birth Worcester Park Date of death 30th October 2017
Married to Broderick Ross
Unsuccessful elections fought Chesham and Amersham
Constituency Falmouth and Camborne 1st May 1997 - 5th May 2005
“Never let yourself be limited by what other people think you are capable of.’
Candy Atherton was a big woman in every sense, wearing flowing clothes, big jewellery, carrying a capacious handbag. Her career in politics stretched long before her election to Parliament: she was a passionate feminist and a lifelong campaigner: setting up a women’s refuge, co- founding ‘Everywoman’ magazine and serving as an Islington councillor and Mayor.
Candy was greatly affected by illness and disabilities caused by an auto immune disease but never let it affect her appetite for life, food, drink and having fun. She was a qualified glider pilot and accomplished “boat woman” who lived on a narrowboat on a London canal when attending Parliament, she played keyboards, attempted the accordion and was a keen, knowledgeable birdwatcher.
In 1995 she was selected to fight the three-way marginal seat of Falmouth and Cambourne, the first constituency to use Labour’s new all-women shortlist procedure. The selection was as controversial locally as the policy was nationally. Two Labour councillors resigned, one of whom stood against her for the seat but in 1997 she took Labour from third place to first and much enjoyed saying that she was “the overweight woman who beat Seb Coe” - the Olympic athlete turned Conservative politician who held the seat from 1992.
She doubled her majority in 2001, having successfully campaigned for the Prime Minister to take the necessary steps to achieve Objective One European Funding Status for Cornwall (bringing infrastructure and development funding worth over £2 billion), for the National Minimum Wage Act 1998, and for a university in Cornwall. Candy was a vocal campaigner for the ban on fox hunting, spearheaded the campaign to open a Minor Injuries Unit in Camborne and exposed the longstanding concerns about the nerve gas station at Nancekuke (RRH Portreath) in her constituency. She also introduced a Private Member’s Bill in 2001 to outlaw age discrimination. In 2002 Candy married Cornishman Broderick in Falmouth’s Pendennis Castle befitting her
well-deserved reputation for throwing a good party.
At opening of Atherton suite Falmouth Town Hall 2019 'Candy' with her mother (left) and mother in law