Death of former Nelson baker Nora

Nora Mason
Nora Mason

A Barrowford resident and former baker in Nelson – Nora Mason – has passed away.

Born in County Limerick, Ireland, the second child of Joe and Bridie Fean, Nora was 15 when she moved to England with her parents, brother John and sister Breda.

Her younger brothers, Joseph and Vincent, were born once the family were settled in Burnley while her elder brother Michael stayed in Dublin working for the Irish Post Office.

The family move from Ireland came in the the school summer holidays and Nora learned that the local Parkinson Pill Factory was taking on new staff who were ready to start work straight away.

Nora immediately joined the work force and remained in it instead of returning to school after the summer.

Keen to continue her studies, she moved on from the factory and became an apprentice baker. She worked with and learned her craft from baker Margaret Acton, who at that time owned the bakery in Smith Street, Nelson.

The two became friends and eventually Nora bought the baking business and became her own boss.

For years she ran the small but very popular shop, making delicious bread and cakes as well as catering for weddings, birthdays and other celebrations in the Burnley, Colne and Nelson area.

At the same time Nora was an active member of the Knights of St Columba Club on Yorkshire Street, Burnley. She spent many happy evenings meeting her friends there.

She was also an avid follower of the fortunes of Burnley’s football team. After her brothers moved from Burnley to complete their studies and follow their different careers, she could always be relied on to provide them with the latest news on the Clarets.

In 1979, she married Alan Mason, a widower and long-time family friend who was living in Blackburn but originally came from Nelson. She sold the bakery and moved to Blackburn where Alan was employed by Norweb.

Nora then became a catering assistant, working at a local school and then at Donaghdee Carpets. On Alan’s retirement they moved to Barrowford and Nora worked until her own retirement in the catering department at the Rolls-Royce factory in Barnoldswick.

Nora was the lynch-pin of the Fean family and kept them up to date with each other’s news.

On marriage, she gained step-son Ron and daughter-in-law Sue, and over the following years became grandmother to their children Chris and Anne – a role she thoroughly enjoyed.

Her personality drew the Mason and Fean families together – she was consistently cheerful, caring, ready to listen and keen to help. A person of deep faith, Nora was a popular parishioner at Saints Peter and Paul’s Church in Barrowford.

She passed away peacefully in her sleep in the early hours of August 28th, following a short illness. She is sadly missed by Alan and the family, by her brothers and their families and by her nephew Gary Jordan, son of her late sister Breda.

Nora’s funeral took place last Friday at Ss Peter and Paul’s. And her family hope she will she rest in peace. Her Burnley-born brother Sir Vincent Fean has been a High Commissioner in Malta, an Ambassador in Libya and is now Consul General in Jerusalem.