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Mum who ‘never closed her front door’ to take one last journey past her ‘castle’


Nov 13, 2023

A mum who was at "the heart of the community" and would help anyone has died aged 91.

Tributes have been paid to Maud Birch who, along with her husband Ted, ran a hugely popular fruit and veg shop in Maghull. Daughter, Nicky Taylor, said her mum made a hug impact on her adopted home town, where she settled with her family aged 16, after moving from County Cavan, in Ireland.

Growing up in Maghull, Nicky Taylor's family home was always open to everyone. She said: "The door was never closed with Irish portions of food served to everyone the minute they walked in… Mum and dad always chatted to everyone even my friends use to still go around even when I was at university."

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Maud married to Ted aged just 21 and the couple went on to have two children. They also started selling fruit and veg at their store, aptly called Maud and Ted's – which they would run for the next 19 years. Reading, Basingstoke, Berkshire

The couple's shop immediately became a popular local business. Nicky said: "Everyone knew them and people use to just go in to chat to my mum. They were a really funny comedy duo and there wasn't anything they wouldn't do for anyone."

Maud and Ted's fruit and veg shop which they owned in Maghull for 19 years

Maud's popularity in the community extended far beyond the greengrocers. The 53-year-old said: "I remember popping out for a loaf of bread with mum in the town centre and we wouldn't get back home for four hours because we were chatting to people in the street."

On top of her 19 years at the greengrocers; Maud also worked for 20 years at Leyland shoes. This meant Maud spent 39 years serving the community she loved. That love has been reciprocated as a Facebook tribute by Nicky on Maghull community page has amassed more than 450 likes and raised over £200 worth of donations for Parkhaven trust which cared for Maud for the past four years.

Nicky said: "The Beeches Parkhaven is a charity that deserves everything they cared for mum so well."

Maud died from pneumonia on October 30 after a long battle with dementia. For Nicky and her family, it will be the mum they remember away from the shop counter that will always hold a special place in their hearts.

She said: "I've got lovely memories of growing up. On Friday nights after a full week of work mum and dad used to take me and my sister Sharon camping in Betws-y-Coed in North Wales. In their later years they had a caravan in the Lake District which me and my husband Gary use to take our two daughters to stay with them."

Maud Birch and her husband, Ted Birch, on their wedding day

She added: "History is repeating itself now because we've bought a caravan in Abersoch. Clearly installed something in me."

Ted and Maud moved into Buckingham Road, Maghull when they were only in their twenties and lived there for the majority of their lives. Nicky said: "My dad lived there for over 60 years and he actually passed away in the house. He always said he'd never leave his castle."

While Maud moved out seven years ago to have treatment for her dementia in a care home, she will get to say one final goodbye to her life long home. Nicky said: "The funeral [cortege] will start at Beeches and drive around Buckingham Road to stop outside number 33 one last time."

Maud's funeral will be taking place at Greenacres, Rainford on November 22.

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