She’s a bodybuilding grandma who can lift her own weight, and she says that ‘weedy men’ are always trying to chat her up because they want her to dominate them.
Now a mental health nurse, Angela says that she’s plagued by guys DMing her on Facebook. ‘I tend to find that the guys who are attracted to me, who follow me on Facebook, are the ones that want dominating,’ she says. ‘Silly little weedy men asking me: “Could you lift me?
Could you pin me down? Would you wrestle me? What do your biceps measure?” ‘I think they’ve got some kind of personality problem, but I’m always polite, because I work in mental health and know there are a lot of people who live miserable existences and are not very well.
‘I think they look at me and see me as a goddess. And a kind word from me, if it makes their day, means I’ve achieved something.”
Despite having a hip replacement last year from arthritis, the mother-of-two is still able to lift 65kg. She’s only just stopped pretending to be in her 40s.
‘I only recently stopped pretending to be 48,’ says Angela. ‘Instead, I ask people to guess my age and, so far, no one has said anything over 52! ‘I look at people who I work with, who are in their 40s and they look like my parents, because they’ve never worked out or modified their diet.
I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and the way I look.’ Angela says that she’s seldom asked out these days, even though she’s been engaged three times. She puts it down to coming across as intimidating. ‘I think men are strange creatures. Men stare, but I’m very seldom asked out, because I think, fundamentally, they find my physique intimidating.
‘I once asked some guys at the gym, just as a matter of curiosity, whether, if they saw me in a nightclub, they would come up and ask me out. They said, “Hell no! Because you look intimidating and you’re very confident”.’
Her gym journey began in the mid-70s, when women’s bodybuilding started to take off. Up until that point, she’d had a successful career as a glamour model, appearing in daily newspapers and working as a forces pin-up – a role that involved inspecting troops in nothing but a bikini.
‘Until the 1970s, I’d never been in a gym,’ she explains. ‘People just didn’t go to gyms in those days. But I was with a guy who started taking me. He used to buy a magazine called Muscle and Fitness and they did a feature on Lisa Lyon, an upcoming American bodybuilder. ‘I looked at the picture and said, “I want to look like her”. He said, “You’re dreaming. You haven’t got the commitment or the motivation or the discipline” – and that was all the motivation I needed.’
Two years later, Angela started competing. By the mid-90s, she’d won numerous competitions and at one point, held seven titles – including British champion. Today, she no longer competes but Angela still trains for about 90 minutes most days and although guys might be intimidated by her body, women are quick to pay her compliments.
‘I was crossing the road a few days ago and a woman stopped me and said, “I hope you don’t think me rude, but your body is absolutely amazing”. And I said, “No, that’s made my day!” And although she’ll be 70 next year, Angela doesn’t see an end to her weightlifting coming any time soon. ‘I’ve had carpal tunnel surgery on both hands, but trained with my hand in a splint. ‘I’ve gone to the gym on crutches, I’ve gone in plaster and I’ve always trained. It’s a dedication. ‘I’ll keep going as long as I’ve got a pulse and can walk.”