A HUGELY well respected woman who spent her entire working life at the Vale View village shop at High Newton has passed way at the age of 101.

Mary Long was a popular figure who was know to everyone in the surrounding area, and a few years ago, she was delighted as the oldest village resident to have the honour of cutting the first sod when construction work began on the A590 bypass around the village and also cut the ribbon when the new road opened in 2008.

Born in April 1918 when World War One was still going on, she was brought up by her parents Sarah and Timothy Ridding and spent a happy childhood in her home village, attending High Newton Infants’ School and then Ulverston High School for Girls.

As soon as she left school, she began work in the shop, which was also a bakery and cafe, assisting her mother who was an expert in baking and made a whole range of cakes for special occasions including three tier wedding cakes.

She married her husband John and the couple had one daughter, Janet, who continued the family tradition of working in the shop.

Sadly, John died at the age of 58, but Mary loved her work so much that she continued to work in the shop right up the age of 79, when she finally and reluctantly retired.

She loved walking and Scottish dancing and they were hobbies she followed passionately for many years.

Mrs Long continued to live in the village in retirement until a few weeks before she died, and she passed away peacefully at a nursing home in Haverthwaite.

A measure of the tremendous esteem in which she was held was the wonderful attendance at her funeral at St Peter’s Church in Field Broughton, which her daughter Janet said was a “lovely service.”