Chippy queen Mary served up treats for 30 years

By Michael Upton | 28/06/2017

Chippy queen Mary served up treats for 30 years
Mary Pearce

A FAMILY have paid tribute to a chippy queen who fried up a treat for villagers for 30 years.

Mary Pearce, who tended the fryers at Don Fisheries in Thurcroft from the mid-1940s to the 1970s, died on June 18 aged 89.

Mary was born in Thurcroft in School Road in February 1928 to William and Annice Lily Taylor.

Her late father was a miner and founder of Thurcroft Labour Party and moved to the village during the 1920s depression, while her late mother was a couture dress maker.

However, Annice Taylor found her greatest fame as the founder of Don Fisheries on Green Arbour Road.  

Family folklore tells how young Mary’s induction to the business aged 15 was somewhat stern.

She was talking to a boy outside the shop one evening prior to closing when her father appeared and clearly took a dim view of proceedings, saying: “Right, that's it, none of this nonsense, you’re coming into the business.”

It was the end of a romance and a start of a career which went on until the 1970s, although the aspiring nurse, who lived with her parents above the shop, combined the chippy trade with working as a chirpodist.

In 1958 she married Jim Pearce at Thurcroft Methodist Chapel, having met him when he was home on leave and designing a garden for Mary’s mother’s the new house.

On leaving the army he decided to follow his wife in becoming a chiropodist.

After retiring from the business in the late 1970s, Mary put her energies into Thurcroft WI, becoming its treasurer and the local Methodist community.

When Thurcroft Chapel closed, she attended Wickersley Chapel.

The Pearces lived at 112 Green Arbour Road for the rest of their lives.

Mary’s family said in a statement: “Mary contributed a lot to the Thurcroft community and she will be fondly remembered for her tenacity, passion, no nonsense Yorkshire temperament, dry sense of humour — and the best fish and chips — which will all be sadly missed by all who knew her.”

Mary leaves a son, daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  

The funeral will be held at Wickersley Chapel at 1pm on Friday.



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