Well known jeweller was a real gem of a lady

Former well known jeweller Thelma Gray who has died at the age of 80.

Former well known jeweller Thelma Gray who has died at the age of 80.

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A jeweller, who notched up almost 40 years of trading in Burnley until her retirement nine years ago, has died at the age of 80.

Thelma Gray ran her business in the town's Market Hall for 36 years, attracting customers from across the North West thanks to her eclectic mix of high class pieces mixed with fashion jewellery, accessories and ornaments.

She originally set up on a market stall but moved into a permanent shop where she served three generations of customers.

Thelma, who leaves her partner Russell, thrived on meeting people from different walks of life and she loved keeping up with the changing trends in fashion.

Also a keen and talented baker, Thelma hailed from the Briercliffe area of Burnley and was self employed from a young age.

Although she had health and mobility issues in the last year's of her life, Thelma was chosen by her granddaughter, Sasha Ezzi-Irani, to walk her down the aisle when she got married in 2014.

And the story hit the national headlines as Sasha chose her grandmother to also give her away at the ceremony in a woodland setting in Perthshire.

Sasha chose her grandmother who she described as "inspirational" and a great role model who always had words of wisdom.

All of Thelma's five grandchilden, including Sasha, worked alongside her in her shop where they grew extremely close to her.

As in her business, Thelma kept herself up to date with all the latest technology and was an avid laptop user who also liked social media.

Married to her late husband Bill for many years, Thelma also leaves her son and daughter, David and Lynne and daughter-in-law Julie.

A funeral service was held on Monday at Burnley Crematorium. Donations are being accepted in Thelma's memory for Pendleside Hospice c/o Alderson and Horan Funeral Services, 128, Rossendale Road, Burnley.