When Mary Barr was 74, she decided it was time to learn to drive.

“Don’t Gran - please don’t Gran!” her great-grandson Jayden, 10, replied when he was told she could pick him up from school.

Known as Wee Mary Doll, she had started getting tattoos on her right arm at the age of 70. Her hair colour could change week to week, pink, blue, red, silver.

This big personality, known by many across Clydebank, passed away along with her mum, Maisie, and her husband Neilly - all in just five days. Two of a family’s five generations gone in a week.

"My mum was an absolute hoot," said Mary's daughter Lee-Ann. "All the wee things she used to come out with. She was my best friend."

Mary Malcolm, known to all as Maisie, was born on October 10, 1925 to parents Rose and George, growing up in Paisley with siblings Hessie, Anna and Rose.

During the war, Maisie’s dad was convinced she could hear the planes taking off from Germany and would give her the key to the Anderson shelter as she was always first there.

Daughter Mary was born at Barshaw Hospital on May 14, 1946 and the family later moved to Clydebank and then Faifley.

The family enjoyed trips to Troon and Saltcoats. Maisie later discovered the joys of Blackpool, travelling down with sister Rose and friend Margaret.

Read more: Five generations of one family looked after by housing association

Maisie then met Jimmy McCann and they began a five-decades long romance.

More than 30 years ago, her daughter Mary met Neil Barr, known to all as Neilly, who was born on June 30, 1943. They were married for 29 years.

While Mary was described as young at heart and a rebel, Maisie was more old school.

Clydebank Post: Mary Barr, with red hair, her husband Neilly and great-grandson JaydenMary Barr, with red hair, her husband Neilly and great-grandson Jayden

At the end of September, Maisie had a severe stroke and went into the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. Her husband Jimmy, 94, was moved temporarily into the home of granddaughter Lee-Ann so they could care for him.

A week later, Mary’s husband Neilly went into hospital with pneumonia.

And a week after that, Maisie caught a chest infection and doctors cautioned she was so frail she could never fight it.

The family had a Zoom call for Maisie’s 95th birthday, on October 10, while she was in hospital. After five days of antibiotics, it was decided to make her as comfortable as possible.

There was yet another blow, as Lee-Ann’s partner, Scott, felt ill on October 17 and had a Covid-19 test. He self-isolated.

Lee-Ann and her mum went to see Maisie in hospital on the Monday but then got symptoms of coronavirus too, and all tested positive, including Maisie’s husband and Lee-Ann’s daughter Emma. Their family could not see Maisie.

Maisie held on for another 10 days. Her daughter Eileen, Eileen's husband Tom and son Greg were able to visit daily.

At about 7am on October 28, the hospital called to say Maisie had passed away. Lee-Ann called her mum to let her know. Mary was very upset but also feeling very unwell and went to her bed.

Mary tested positive for coronavirus that morning.

Then she got more upsetting news that Neilly was being moved to a geriatric ward - something she knew would upset him because of his dementia.

Lee-Ann spoke to her mum the afternoon, but when she tried to call at half past seven, there was no answer. She assumed her mum was sleeping.

Lee-Ann found her mum in her bed the next day. She assumes she passed in her sleep at 7pm, 12 hours after Maisie.

“I think it was too much for her, and her heart’s gone away,” said Lee-Ann.

Then the news was broken to her step-dad.

At the weekend, he took ill, and by 7pm on the Sunday, the doctor said his blood tests were all normal, but he had just hours left.

Lee-Ann and Emma sat with him.

“We had a lovely wee night with him,” she said. “We sang songs to him. He spoke about mum. He said he wanted to see my mum.

“And just before we left, he spun his head around and asked for his glasses.

“He said he could see my mum. I said, ‘If mum has come for you, you go be with her’.”

A few hours later Neilly passed away.

Clydebank Post:

Mum and daughter, always together, were laid to rest on Friday.

Neilly’s funeral service was held Wednesday.

“I don’t think what has happened has hit me,” said Lee-Ann.

“I feel as though it’s a nightmare, but it’s not my nightmare. I have had to keep going.”

Jimmy, Lee-Ann said, has been very quiet since his wife of 49 years passed away and his daughter and her husband joined her.

“To break the news to my grand-dad...I could barely bring myself to tell him,” she said.

“And 24 hours later I had to break the news about my mum.”

Maisie loved reading thrillers, eating chocolate caramels and recycling gifts. She and Mary shared a love of Scottish scenery. They went together to bingo in Clydebank every Tuesday.

Mary, meanwhile, loved Thurso. She dressed in a Heidi wig in Blackpool. When she was younger, she’d dangle a cigarette on a thread out the window so her mum wouldn’t smell the smoke.

Though she was small, she was described as a huge character - and was planning her seventh tattoo.

Neilly was sober for 38 years, Mary for 35. She helped many others through Alcoholics Anonymous. And Mary would help anybody.

They were recently introduced to technology, including Netflix for hours of documentaries, and Amazon’s Alexa.

And they were Dalmuir through and through.

Maisie and Jimmy moved to Paterson Street in 1971 and later Burnside Court. When they moved to Dunswin Court, Mary was next door.

When they moved to Nairn Place, six months later, Mary followed.

They were regulars at the Golden Friendships club, and long-time friends of its founder Jim McLaren and his wife Karen.

Although Mary’s death certificate states she died from Covid-19, Lee-Ann said she believes it was the broken heart from losing her mum that took her in the end - and that Neilly went to be with them.

“I take comfort that mum came for my stepdad,” said Lee-Ann.

“She didn’t want him here suffering without her,” said Lee-Ann. “I need to take comfort that they’re together.”

Clydebank Post: Five generations of the family were photographed in 2016 as tenants of Dalmuir Park Housing Association. From left, Emma Carr, Jayden Cunningham, Lee-Ann Tinline, Mary Barr and Maisie McCann. Photo: Martin Shields Five generations of the family were photographed in 2016 as tenants of Dalmuir Park Housing Association. From left, Emma Carr, Jayden Cunningham, Lee-Ann Tinline, Mary Barr and Maisie McCann. Photo: Martin Shields

Maisie, Mary and Neilly are survived by Maisie’s husband Jimmy; her sister Rose; her children Eileen and partner Tom, and brother Jim; Maisie’s grandchildren Lee-Ann and partner Scott, Greg and Scott; great-grandchildren Emma, Karina, Loughlan and Isla; and great-great-grandson Jayden.