Obituary: Well-known Halifax book-shop owner Jennifer Pell 'treated all her customers like firm friends'

A well-known and liked Halifax woman who spent more than 50 years working in her family’s book shop has died.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 12:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th October 2021, 12:56 pm
Jennifer Pell at Fred Wade bookshop

Jennifer Pell took over Fred Wade on Rawson Street in the early 1960s and was in her 80s when she retired and the popular shop shut in 2013.

Born in 1931 in Halifax, she grew up in the Pye Nest area and went to Princess Mary’s High School for Girls.

She trained at Yorkshire Ladies Secretarial College before working for Rowntree Mackintosh Confectionery in Halifax.

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Mrs Pell met husband Michael, known as Mick, at a dinner dance and they married in 1959. They lived in Hipperholme and were married for more than 60 years.

Her father, Fred Wade, ran what was originally a lending library in Rawson Street. Mrs Pell started work there in the early 1960s and it became a book shop and stationers after they bought the building next door and expanded.

The independent shop was a popular attraction, visited by a host of famous authors including Gervaise Phinn.

Her daughter Caroline, who also worked in the shop, said: “She was devoted and dedicated to the shop and treated all her customers like firm friends.

“She was very, very sociable, very active and extremely good with people. She loved to entertain and loved to go on holiday.”

A founding member of Calderdale Talking Newspapers, Halifax Flower Club and Halifax Arts Society, she was also part of Soroptimist International, Halifax Women’s Luncheon Club, Halifax Tradesmen’s Benevolent Institution and Halifax Chamber of Trade.

Her funeral takes place at Park Wood Crematorium at noon on October 28.