Appleby’s Sarah Parkin, who ran the town’s Parkin Greengrocers with her husband Ken and was a former manager of the Appleby under-16s football team, has died aged 90.
She was born in Appleby to Nellie and John Guy.
Sarah, her sister Margaret and parents lived with their uncle Rob at Town Head, Hilton.
She attended Murton School — although she would often say she was more interested in playing then school work. She had a very happy childhood and her joy of life continued throughout her almost 91 years.
When Sarah was aged 14, Earnest Parkin asked her mother if “the lass would like to try shop work?” — it was a done deal and Parkin’s grocers on the Sands became her life’s work. As she often said, she did rather well as she married the boss’s son, Ken.
The couple married at the Sands Methodist Chapel and initially lived in Long Marton but soon returned to live in Appleby.
Their marriage proved to be a happy one, spanning 56 years.
Together they worked, Ken with his farm feeds business and Sarah in the shop with the girls. She loved her work and even if the shop was shut she would open up if you ran short of anything.
Ken and Sarah had two sons, Tim and Alan. Alongside family life Sarah was always active in the community and when Tim became keen on football she became team manager of the Appleby under-16s team.
She would often get letters from the Football Association regarding the inappropriate conduct of some of the players and she would have a stern word with the offender — it was really only one person and recently she handed over the letters to that person — he will remain unnamed! Ken played his part too, loading up all the team in his van and taking them to matches — help and safety flew out of the window!
Tim went on to have a career as a professional footballer and acknowledges how important his parents were in this. Alan, the younger son, preferred the oval ball and trained to become a PE teacher.
Sarah also was very involved with the British Legion and she sold poppies for 60 years.
She made many friends and some of her happiest times were performing in Les Dowson’s shows for charity.
Sarah was a member of Appleby Tangent and enjoyed her meetings with the ladies. Up until the coronavirus pandemic she still attended and delighted being with so many younger ladies who were always so kind and inclusive.
Appleby Bowling Club was also a big part of her life and she enjoyed playing until a couple of years ago.
It was her sport but also she enjoyed the social side as well as being a former lady president of the club.
She was a regular attender of the Methodist Chapel in Appleby and as a young lady had been a teacher at the Sunday School.
Sarah enjoyed her family and had four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She was also close to her two daughters-in-law, Jane and Sarah who are married to Tim and Alan respectively.
Sarah had many friends across a wide range of the community and will be remembered as being sociable, good company, loved dancing and a party.
In her words “I’ve had a great life.”
Sarah died at her home in Station Road on Monday and a private funeral will be held today at the Sands Methodist Chapel, followed by an interment at Appleby Cemetery.
Donations in her memory will go to Brain Cancer Research and the Great North Air Ambulance and can be made via Walkers Funeral Directors who have care of arrangements.