Town bids farewell to 'fearless' Hilda

A WELL-KNOWN Filey character who enjoyed life to the full has died at the age of 84.

St Oswald’s Church was packed to the rafters for the funeral of Hilda Ackrill, which was held yesterday and followed by a buffet at her “second home”, the Three Tuns in Murray Street.

Mrs Ackrill, a former dinner lady and shop assistant, ruled the roost at her favourite pub and was also a regular helper at Filey Golf Club and Providence Place social club.

She was born and bred in Filey, and lived in the town virtually all her life.

Friend and owner of the Three Tuns Keith Denham said: “I’ve known her for close on 50 years. She came here a lot and she will be very much missed.

“She said fearlessly exactly what she thought, and she was so mentally sharp. She was a tremendous character, and fiercely independent. She did things on her own terms.”

Mr Denham said Mrs Ackrill had her own chair in the pub and other regulars would “move aside” for her. The chair may soon get its own plaque and already has a place in the pub’s folklore.

Daughter-in-law Susan Ackrill described her as a “very modern nana”, who took an interest in everyone and was very sociable.

She said: “She just loved her family, and liked everybody. She would do anything for anyone.

“When she went to play bingo at Providence Place she was always missing her lines because she was too busy talking.

“She always said that when she died she wanted it to be falling off a bar stool with an empty glass in her hand!”

Following a stroke earlier this year Mrs Ackrill spent her last few months at Ackworth House, where she insisted on being brought The Mercury every week to keep up with what was going on.

She came from a large family and met her late husband Allen during the war.

He was a coach driver, and the couple briefly moved to Kidderminster after getting married, but returned to Filey to bring up their family.

Her daughter-in-law added: “She was a smart lady, who was very open-minded. She loved cooking, and everything revolved around food.”

As well as being a dinner lady at Filey junior and senior schools, she worked behind the counter for many years at Stercchi’s confectioners in Murray Street.

Mrs Ackrill leaves three children, seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.