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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Determined, kind and strong Florence, 104

FLORENCE Lavery was born in 1908, she once worked as a chief cashier at the Gaiety Cinema, married a cooper from Lowca and, after a long life well lived, she died last month, aged 104.

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mine tour: Lord Egremont visited Florence Mine at Egremont and took a tour of the mine. He is seen here through the winding house wheel.

Florence, known as Florrie, was born in Michael Street, Whitehaven, and, until just a couple of years ago, lived at Richmond Hill Road, Hensingham.

Latterly she had been residing at the Cleator Moor home, Dentholme.

Before the war she worked at the Gaiety, with responsibility for handling the takings.

Her father, Joe Gell, worked as a cooper, nowadays a dying art, making barrels for tar at the Lowca tar plant. It was one of his workmates, Joss Lavery, who was also a tar barrel maker, that Florrie took a shine to and married.

The couple settled with Florrie’s parents, Joe and Margaret, in their cottage at Overend, Hensingham, before moving into a new home at nearby Richmond Hill Road.

The couple didn’t have children and led a quiet life, enjoying their dogs, keeping hens and a large garden. Joss Lavery died in 1981.

Mrs Lavery’s 86-year-old nephew, John Knox, said his aunt was a quiet living type of person who enjoyed gardening and country interests.

“I would spend time at Aunty’s at Overend when I was a boy. She was always kind but strict, very Victorian in her ways. She didn’t drink but did used to smoke. She gave it up years ago when the costs went up. She was a strong character and I would say it was her determination that kept her alive for so long.’’

Mrs Lavery had a life-long Christian belief and was a regular attender at St John’s Church, Hensingham, where her funeral service was held on April 3, followed by interment at Hensingham cemetery.

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