Family help celebrate Mary’s 100th birthday

The family celebrate Mary's 100th birthday
The family celebrate Mary's 100th birthday

Mary Shaw celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday (May 2) with many members of her five-generation family around her at her care home, Westerley, in Woodhall Spa.

She said “keeping busy” is one of the secrets to her long life and for many years, she helped run a dairy farm and was actively involved with the church, sport, charities and social organisations.

She was one of nine children born into the Leggate farming family in New York and aged 22 she married a farmer, Fred Shaw.

They moved into Chapelry Farm in the village and together built up the Chapelry Herd of British Friesians which earned a national reputation.

Mary remembers riding her bicycle round the village, five-gallon churns balanced on the handlebars, to sell milk to the other residents.

At 10, she played the organ at a service at St Peter’s parish church for the first time. When she was 17 she became the regular organist at St Peter’s and carried on in that role for an astonishing 65 years.

She was a founder member of the New York WI and Woodhall Spa Flower Club, She also played tennis and bowls and also lived in East Kirkby and Coningsby.