Great-great grandmother who ran popular ‘Jock’s Shop’ celebrates 100th birthday

An ‘amazing’ great-great grandmother who ran a popular shop in Sunderland for more than 30 years has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Thursday, 30th May 2019, 06:00 am
Mary Murray celebrates her 100th birthday with granddaughter Andrea Flood and daughter Pauline Curley.

Mary Murray marked the milestone surrounded by her family and friends at her home in Rainton Bridge on Monday, May 27.

Born in Hetton in 1919, Mary was one of eight children.

Mary Murray has celebrated her 100th birthday.

At the age of 18 she moved to London where she worked as a domestic looking after flats in Mayfair during the Second World War.

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It was there she met her husband Dave after he waved to her while she was looking out of a window.

Dave was in the Airforce Police and patrolled the area to ensure all curtains were closed.

He asked Mary on a date and the pair were engaged just eight days later, marrying in 1941.

Mary Murray celebrates her 100th birthday.

Mary remembered: “My engagement ring needed altering but when he went back to collect it, the shop has been bombed, so he had to look for a replacement!”

The pair later returned to the North East where they opened a shop called Jock’s Shop in Hetton Market Place as Dave was Scottish.

Mary said: “After the wedding, we returned to the North East and we opened an off-license attached to a grocery shop and bakery so we were kept busy.

“It was aptly called Jock’s Shop as Dave is Scottish and we ran it for over 30 years.”

Mary Murray's wedding announcement.

Mary has two daughters, Marion and Pauline, five granddaughters, six great-granddaughters and two great-great grandsons.

She still lives in her own Gentoo home, where she has been for more than 43 years.

On her secret to a long and happy life she said: “I have a spoonful of honey on my cereal every day and I don’t drink or smoke.

“I only gave up drinking at 92 though!”

Mary with her husband Dave Murray.

Her granddaughter Paula Best added: “She is an amazing lady.

“She is loved by so many people.

“It was love at first sight when she met my granddad Dave and everyone knew their shop.”

Mary and Dave Murray on their wedding day.