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Obituary: Dales woman who grew up with no electricity

Idyllic times - Pateley Bridge's Mabel Peacoock with her husband Reg in theur young days as farmers in the Dales.
Idyllic times - Pateley Bridge's Mabel Peacoock with her husband Reg in theur young days as farmers in the Dales.

Obituary - Mabel Peacock: 1916-2018

The funeral has taken place of a true woman of the Dales who grew up without electricity.

A true woman of the Dales - The late Mabel Peacoock with her daughter Margaret.

A true woman of the Dales - The late Mabel Peacoock with her daughter Margaret.

At the age of 102, the much-loved Mabel Peacock was believed to be the oldest supporter of Pateley Show.

Friends and relatives gathered at St Cuthbert's Church in Pateley Bridge last Thursday to hear she never missed a show for more than seven decades - and read the Nidderdale Herald every week until her death last month.

Born of farming stock in 1916 in the village of Arkengarthdale on the east side of the Pennines in North Yorkshire, Mabel grew up during the First World War in an era of paraffin lamps and no electricity.

Along with her brother and sister, she learned the ways of farming young, milking the cows, cutting the hay, making the butter.

As happened so often in those days, Mabel first met her husband Reg at the local dance.

They married in 1937 at Church of St Andrew in Marrick in Richmondshire before moving to Carlsmoor near Kirkby Malzeard.

They had two children there, later going onto to have four more, and also raised Shorthorn dairy cattle and some sheep.

In 1942 the family moved to Wood Top at Wath where Reg became a full-time farmer, earning extra money occasionally as a beater when Mabel would take him part of the way by horse.

Once a week, Mabel would come from Wath Bridge by bus to visit Weatherhead's butchers on Pateley Bridge High Street.

The visit became as much a habit as her passion for going to Pateley Show, which Reg also loved.

He took on the role of steward in the sheep section until his death than 30 years ago.

When Reg died, Mabel came to live in Pateley Bridge and, on her 70th birthday, moved into a bungalow with her daughter Margaret.

Mabel was an avid reader, skilled rug maker and a keen baker; her cakes often featured in Pateley Show.

Even as her health started to fail, she would get round the showground each year in a wheelchair.

Helped at home until the end by Margaret, much loved by her whole family, Mabel passed away on Sunday, April 29.

Many thanks to Margaret Stoney and Shirley Dawson for their help with this article.