Mary was a founder member of the Borehamwood History Society, along with Alan and Ann Lawrence, and its first Chair. This became the Elstree & Borehamwood Museum where Mary became a valued volunteer, and gave her the opportunity for regaling of anyone who would listen to her historical reminiscences. Mary wrote a very informative booklet “The Birth of All Saints' Parish, Boreham Wood” which incorporated much historical information about the whole area and is available from the Museum website.
Mary is remembered by many local residents as the proprietor (along with her brother) of Hansons “sweet shop and tea room” located where Starbucks now is in Shenley Road. This was featured in the Museum Exhibition in 2017, Down The Shops. However Mary was tirelessly active in the community as a Rotarian and St. Albans Abby Guide in addition to her work in the Museum and attendances at All Saints Church.
Mary never married but was a great dog lover, taking her Labradors for regular walks over Woodcock Hill, a local cause of which she was a great supporter. Originally living over the shop, she moved to Tennison Avenue when the shop closed and spent her final years in the Radley Care Home.
Mary will be remembered with great affection and respect, and for a long time, by those of us who knew her. May she rest in peace.
This message has been received from Mary’s family:
“Mary was born 15th Feb 1933. She lived all her life in Borehamwood after Bert Hanson, her father, acquired the property at 73 Shenley Road (now Starbucks). Hansons including the tea room and confectioners/newsagent became Mary’s home with her mother and father. There was ample room above the shop for living and a good sized back garden for her dogs which were a source of great companionship for much of her life. She worked with John who, after National Service, also dedicated his entire working life to the business.
After Mary’s mother died she took on the role of looking after her father as well as working tirelessly in the kitchen making the famous pastry for the sausage rolls and pasties. She was also an active Guide at St Albans Abbey for many years.
Mary was an active Aunty for John’s Children (David, Kate and Mike) and took them on many trips to London and Stratford to museums during the holidays. She certainly encouraged a love of all things historical.
Moreover, Mary followed in Bert’s footsteps through Rotary becoming a Life Member and attending lunches and meetings. One of her serious passions was travel and for many years she would visit Rotary Friends in the US as well as explore historic sites around Europe and the Middle East. Mary knew a lot about many historic topics and was a huge source of knowledge for the community as well as her family. Indeed, much of her time after the business was sold 22 years ago, was spent volunteering with the Borehamwood History Society.
She would love to see her great nieces and nephews, Kon, Yiannis, Harriett, Gemma, Arthur and Alice and was keen to keep abreast of how they were doing in their young lives.
Her extended family will miss Mary very much. We’ve been touched by the notes on social media remembering Mary and the Hansons’ shop. These notes are a wonderful source of comfort to John and his family in these difficult times. Thank you to all who have taken the time to post.“
Mary Hanson : 15/2/1933 -11/4/2020