Party time for grand old lady Margaret, 105

Margaret with her family. Standing, from left, are Ann Watson (granddaughter), Susan Birch (granddaughter), Fred Brown (nephew), and his wife Jenny, Margaret is flanked by her daughters Sylvia Watson (seated, left) and Joan Bradley.
Margaret with her family. Standing, from left, are Ann Watson (granddaughter), Susan Birch (granddaughter), Fred Brown (nephew), and his wife Jenny, Margaret is flanked by her daughters Sylvia Watson (seated, left) and Joan Bradley.

Family and friends gathered for a party to celebrate Margaret Hutchinson’s 105th birthday.

The great-great-grandmother was surrounded by her loved ones and friends at the Abbeyvale Care Centre in Blackhall where she has lived for five years.

Mum-of-four, Margaret, was born in Wheatley Hill, but left for Harrogate to go into service when she was just 14 years old.

She returned to the area and lived in Easington and Peterlee.

A retired cleaner and school cook, Margaret lost her husband, William, when he was serving in the Coldstream Guards in 1943, aged just 33.

She suffered further heartache when their youngest daughter, Elsie, died aged just 12.

Margaret is also mum to Sylvia Watson, 85, Joan Bradley, 82, and Derek Hutchinson, 76.

She has seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Joan said: “It is amazing. We didn’t think she would get to 100, never mind 105. She was having a really good day on her birthday.

“I always joke to her that she has three children who are pensioners.

“My sister fell off her mobility scooter and the paramedics couldn’t believe it when she said she was on the way to visit her mam.”

Joan said she doesn’t know the secret of her mum’s long life, but says she always worked very hard.

Margaret’s family took cakes and champagne along to the nursing home so they could celebrate in style with her friends and staff.

Joan said: “It is just wonderful to still have her with us, she is a good ‘un.”