Celebrations as former wartime ‘fire watcher’ and Hartlepool mum celebrates 100th birthday

Mabel Longhorn, known as Winnie, with sister Joyce and Hartlepool Mayor Allan Barclay on her 100th birthday.
Mabel Longhorn, known as Winnie, with sister Joyce and Hartlepool Mayor Allan Barclay on her 100th birthday.

A Hartlepool woman has celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by her friends and family.

Mabel Longhorn, known as Winnie, marked the milestone with a party at Rossmere Park Care Centre in the town.

Mabel Longhorn, known as Winnie, with  Rossmere Park Care Centre staff and Hartlepool Mayor Allan Barclay and care workers Regan Sutheran and Michael Towler.

Mabel Longhorn, known as Winnie, with Rossmere Park Care Centre staff and Hartlepool Mayor Allan Barclay and care workers Regan Sutheran and Michael Towler.

The amazing centenarian, who celebrated the milestone on Monday, only moving into the care home last year and lived in her own home until she was 99.

Around 30 people came along to the celebration, including her two sisters, Marion Hardcastle, 82, and Joyce Richardson, 89, and her brother Donald Wilkinson, 80.

Also joining in the celebration was Mayor Allan Barclay, who came along to the home in Greenock Road, to wish Winnie a Happy Birthday.

Winnie’s son Grahame Longhorn, a chartered accountant from the Throston area of the town, praised his mum’s good memory - saying she is still able to recall things that happened many years ago.

Mabel Longhorn, known as Winnie, with Hartlepool Mayor Allan Barclay on her 100th birthday.

Mabel Longhorn, known as Winnie, with Hartlepool Mayor Allan Barclay on her 100th birthday.

The 62-year-old, who is married to wife Jane, said: “She has such a good memory and can remember things that happened a long time ago.

“During the war she used to go fire watching and that was her contribution to the war effort.

“She married my father Jim, in November 1944 at Stranton Church and he was the most important person in her life.

“He died in 1999 and she has managed to live by herself - with the help of carers - until she was 99 years old, moving into the care home a year ago.”

Mabel Longhorn, known as Winnie, celebrated her 100th birthday with a party at Rossmere Park Care Centre in Hartlepool.

Mabel Longhorn, known as Winnie, celebrated her 100th birthday with a party at Rossmere Park Care Centre in Hartlepool.

In her younger days, Winnie worked in the Co-op shop in Greatham as a shop assistant for a few years after she married, and then became a full-time mum when she had her son Grahame.

Her husband Jim, who was also from the town, was in the Merchant Navy during the war and was introduced to Winnie by a relative.

The pair enjoyed spending time together as a family and started going on foreign holidays in the 1970s, particularly enjoying Lake Como in Italy. Winnie has eight nieces and nephews.

Grahame added: “She is a very nice person.
“Everybody in the care home thinks very highly of her and they enjoy looking after her.”