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Mary Eames was a polished performer at cricket
2:19pm Thursday 9th June 2011 in Obituary
Family members have paid tribute to a late Ilkley resident who gained herself a place in local history.
Mary Eames, nee Mennell, died at the age of 97 early in March.
She was a life-long inhabitant of Ilkley, the daughter of Frank Mennell, joiner and undertaker of the firm Dean & Mennell, and his wife, Emma, a dressmaker who is known to have made baby clothes for one-time Ilkley resident Jilly Cooper.
Mary worked as an assistant in many old Ilkley shops.
There is an account in Tim Binding’s book, On Ilkley Moor, of her working at Dinsdales tobacconists on The Grove. She worked from 8am until 8pm, polished the floor each day and all the brass in the shop, including the letterbox.
Dinsdales is now the Grove Bookshop and the Cancer Research charity shop. Mary’s daughter, Barbara Simmons, asked permission to polish the letter boxes for her funeral, as a tribute.
Mary was also an original member of the women’s team in the traditional Black and White Hats cricket match, played between Ilkley traders. She is pictured holding the bat in the 1934 contest.
Mary’s funeral took place at Christchurch, on The Grove, on Shrove Tuesday – while dozens of children were out on The Grove, cheering on their classmates in Ilkley’s first annual pancake races.
Her daughter said: “Mary would have greatly appreciated the hearse arriving at the church to the cheers of the inaugural pancake races.” They would like to know of anyone who captured photographs of the pancake race with the funeral cars in the background.
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