A LANCASHIRE woman who took Bovey Tracey to her heart has died.

Ellen Schofield was born in Shaw, near Ashton-under-Lyne, where she lived for much of her life, eventually retiring to Bovey Tracey in 1983.

Born Ellen Warburton,the daughter of a coal miner, she trained as a nurse as a young woman, and went on to marry Joe, who had served in the RAF.

After the war she spent time working in an insurance office.

The couple had two children Christine and Janet, and Ellen and her family had many happy holidays in Devon. So much so that when Joe retired the couple relocated to Brimley Gardens in Bovey Tracey.

‘It was here she immersed herself in Bovey life,’ said her daughter Christine.

She became involved in local groups such as the Women’s Institute and the Over 60s club, where she she served for 10 years as treasurer.

She was also a valued member of the town’s Methodist Church, arranging the flowers for special occasions.

After Joe died in 2001, Ellen lived in one of the town’s alms houses before moving to a residential home in Buckfastleigh.

In what might have been one of her last Royal duties, the late Queen bestowed the Women’s Voluntary Service Medal to Ellen.

At the time Ellen was ill so the medal and certificate were not given personally but were sent to her friend and fellow Women’s Voluntary Service worker Helen Cowell, who held it in safe keeping.

‘She was a good friend and we’d often go out and take holidays with other club members,’ said Helen.

Daughter Christine was able to travel from her home in the North to give the award to her mother who was ill in hospital – and Ellen was thrilled to receive it.

Helen, the chairman and committee member of the Over 60s club, said: ‘Christine managed to give her mother the medal the day before she died. She woke up and smiled to see it, then went back to sleep.

She died at Newton Abbot Hospital on December 3 aged 92. Her funeral will take place at Bovey Tracey Methodist Church at 12pm on December 30.

Shaun Parrott, one of her great-grandchildren, is head chorister at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, and he will be singing at the service. Christine said anyone who knew her mother would be more than welcome to attend.