Family mourn Melton woman who was ‘everyone’s nanny’

A family have paid an emotional tribute to a Melton woman they said was ‘everyone’s nanny’ following her passing at the age of 97.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 12:37 pm
Betty Bishop, who has passed away aged 97 EMN-210914-112947001

Betty Bishop, who lived on Ankle Hill for more than 70 years, was so well known with her late husband, Bob, they would be treated like celebrities whenever they went into town for their daily shopping trips.

The great-great-grandmother sadly died on September 6 and a celebration of her life will be held on Monday.

Her grand-daughter, Michelle Shield, told the Melton Times: “It was a massive shock to lose her.

Bob and Betty Bishop pictured in their younger years EMN-210914-112958001

“She was 97 but because she’s been a such a big part of our family and of the town you just expected her to be there forever.

“The number of sympathy cards I’ve had already has been unbelievable.

“I walked through town the other day and it was heartbreaking because everyone was stopping me to talk about her.

“It was lovely, though, just how you would like to be remembered yourself.”

Bob and Betty Bishop EMN-210914-113009001

Michelle has worked at the Specsavers store in Melton for 27 years and her grandma was a regular caller with treats for the staff.

“She always used to pop in and bring in things like sausage rolls and sweets for everyone,” said Michelle.

“Really, she was everyone’s nanny.”

Born in 1924, Betty grew up in the village of Coston, east of Melton, and she was one of nine children, with six brothers and two sisters.

After leaving school she gained a reputation as a hard worker who enjoyed a day’s graft.

Michelle said: “When she was growing up she could do any job a man could do.

“She worked for Johnny Wise, a farmer near Coston, and she used to ride the horse and cart with two shire horses.

“She worked on the land when the Second World War broke out.

“Apparently everyone said she could swing a sack of whatever over her shoulder as good as any man.

“She also got a job at the old rubber factory in Melton and would push bike from Coston every single day.”

Betty met Bob shortly after the war ended when he had served in the merchant navy and they were married at St Mary’s Church in the town before settling at the house in Ankle Hill where they lived the rest of their lives.

Bob got a good job at Petfoods while Betty took employment as a civil servant in the Ministry of Defence department at the Old Dalby depot.

Both enjoyed socialising at dances and day trips organised by the Petfoods plant, which employed many more people in those days.

They had a son, Richard, five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

The couple always liked to support local shops and businesses.

Michelle recalled: “They walked up and down to Melton every single day, getting meat fresh every day, they went to the bakers and to Melton Cheese Shop every day.

“They never went to a supermarket unless they really had to.”

She added: “Everyone remembers them because they used to walk down from Ankle Hill to town, some times twice a day to get their shopping.

“They were both hard working, caring, and they really were the backbones and diamonds of our family.

Bob, who had grown up in the house at the town’s Play Close park, passed away nine years ago.

Betty was determined to live independently at home into her old age and she did.

A celebration of life service will be held on Monday at Loughborough Crematorium, at 11am, followed by a wake at the Royal British Legion in Melton, with friends welcome to attend.