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Well-known Newmarket businesswoman Mary Foreman dies at 93

One of Newmarket’s most successful and hard-working businesswomen has died at the age of 93.

Mary Foreman who, with her late husband Terry, was credited with saving the town’s Bedford Lodge hotel, was born in Mansfield and first came to East Anglia with her parents who had been advised by specialists the climate would suit their teenage daughter who had been very ill as a child.

She met her first husband ‘Jock’ Hamilton, who was based in Norwich, when he was buying and selling government surplus clothing and had market stalls in Newmarket, St Ives, Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury and Haverhill.

Mary Foreman, who has died aged 93
Mary Foreman, who has died aged 93

When the couple moved to Newmarket their first business was a shop in Exning Road, now Brides By Solo, where Mary opened Jocks, a men’s clothes shop. It gave her a taste for retail and she soon acquired more property in Wellington Street and Jocks moved to new premises.

The couple divorced in 1970 but their two daughters, Jane (Webb) and Mary, followed their mother into the clothing business. Mary, who now runs the Rosyground Stud in Dullingham Ley, was involved with Jocks, and Jane ran her eponymous dress shop in the High Street.

In 1973 Mary married bookmaker Terry Foreman. The couple lived in Dullingham but when Mary heard Newmarket’s Bedford Lodge was for sale, she and Terry bought it and set about renovating the property, which had fallen into a bad state of repair. Together they turned it into a successful business.

“Mum was the backbone of the business while Terry was front of house,” said Jane.

When they later sold it, Mary joined up with Jane and was instrumental in the running of her store in Cambridge, regularly going on buying trips with her daughter.

With Terry, she shared a love of racing and together they owned horses and travelled the world before he died in 1997.

“She was incredibly hard working and achieved so much considering she was divorced and destitute at 45,” said Jane.

“She was a very clever woman and had the most wonderful life.”

The funeral service will be at St Mary’s Church, in Newmarket tomorrow at 2pm.

Donations will be to Dementia UK.