ONE of only two surviving widows from the Easington Pit Disaster has celebrated her 103rd birthday.
Eva Hunt had a very happy birthday surrounded by family and friends at Ashwood Park Care Home, Easington.
The supergran – as she calls herself – was born in Shincliffe Village, Durham City, and moved to Easington, aged three, together with her parents and 10 siblings, when her father got a lob at the local colliery.
In the 1930s, she worked as a nurse in Lingfield, Surrey, looking after children with severe epilepsy.
Years later, she returned to Easington to look after her parents.
Eva had a happy marriage to Billy Hunt, from 1938 until his tragic death, along with more than 80 other men, in the 1951 Easington Pit Disaster.
She is now one of only two surviving widows.
Eva and Billy had adopted their only child, Margaret McGann, in 1947.
Eva later became mother-in-law to the late Eric McGann, and a grandmother and great-grandmother.
Margaret, who attended the extra special tea-party for her mum’s birthday, said: “My mum is a grandma and a great-grandma but she is known as ‘Supergran’, a name she chose herself.
“She married Billy Hunt, who died in the 1951 Easington Pit Disaster. She is now one of only two surviving widows. She has a happy and very comfortable life in Ashwood Park Care Home, where she is well-loved by staff.”
Eighty-one men and two rescue workers lost their lives on that fateful day in 1951 when a spark at the coalface ignited a pocket of gas, which led to the explosion.