105th birthday celebration for Rasen’s oldest resident

Mary Fisher celebrating her 105th birthday with staff at Waterloo House EMN-160223-103831001
Mary Fisher celebrating her 105th birthday with staff at Waterloo House EMN-160223-103831001
  • A lifetime of hard work and a ‘can do’ attitude has put Mary in good stead

Everybody would like to know the secret to a long life and one Rasen resident obviously has the answer as she has just celebrated her 105th birthday.

Mary Fisher marked the momentous occasion with her family and the staff at Waterloo House, where she has lived for the past 13 years.

“We are very proud of her; it is an amazing achievement,” said son John.

“All her life she has eaten all the things we are told not to eat these days - salt, butter, cream - but it clearly hasn’t done her any harm.

“She also enjoyed a cherry brandy at Christmas.

“She doesn’t have a lot to say these days, but she is quick enough to tell me my hands are cold when I hold her hand.

“She is very well cared for here (Waterloo House) though; she couldn’t be in a better place.”

Mary now becomes one of only 780 or so of the 14,450 centenarians living in the UK estimated to be aged 105 or more, according to government statistics.

But it seems longevity is actually something of a family trait.

“I have been doing quite a lot on my family tree lately and it seems it is something of a family tradition to live long - especially on the male side anyway,” added John (75).

“But I haven’t been able to find anyone who has equalled mother’s age.”

Mary Irene Brannick was born in Louth on February 23, 1911.

She lived with her family at Dog Kennel Farm, also known as Hubbards Hills Farm.

As a nine-year-old, she witnessed the devastating Louth Flood of 1920, which killed 23 people and made hundreds more homeless. The Brannick family home was thankfully not affected, as it was on high ground; the Hubbards Hill cafe now stands on the site of the farm.

Mary was educated in Louth and, when she left school, went to train as a dressmaker, going on to be a seamstress at two drapery stores in the town.

She met her future husband Tealby butcher Eric Fisher at a dance in Ranby, and she has as a treasured possession the ticket from that dance.

The couple married in Louth Parish Church in March 1939 and made their home in Tealby, where their son John was born in June 1940.

It wasn’t long before Mary was left in charge of the butchery business, as Eric received his call up in 1940.

“She did it all,” said John.

“I was only a little lad, but I remember going with her on deliveries - sitting in the back of the van.”

Mary continued to run the butchery business, along with Eric’s sister Gwen, until Eric returned home after being demobbed in 1945.

“She has always believed in hard work,” added John.

“She always said ‘work doesn’t do you any harm’ and she has certainly shown that over the years.”

John joined Eric in the family business and continued running it until he retired 10 years ago.

Mary and Eric enjoyed 62 years of marriage.

They celebrated their Diamond Wedding in 1999, but sadly Eric died just a couple of years later.