Birthday girl Mena turns 108 with special celebration

Mena Larkin celebrates with the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Olive Punchion, and Mayoress Mary French.
Mena Larkin celebrates with the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Olive Punchion, and Mayoress Mary French.

Birthday girl Mena Larkin has lived through two World Wars and the reign of five monarchy – but is still going strong at the remarkable age of 108.

Mena, of South Shields, reached her milestone on Monday and celebrated her major milestone with her family.

Mena cerainly has a lot of interesting stories to tell of the last 108 years

Liz Capewell

She enjoyed afternoon tea at the Little Haven Hotel before a separate party at Westoe Grange Care Home, on Horsley Hill Road.

Liz Capewell, the care home’s deputy manager, said: “Mena cerainly has a lot of interesting stories to tell of the last 108 years.

“She’s a lovely little lady, and very pleasant to speak with. She gets on well with everybody here and has made a few friends since she moved in.”

Mena is originally from South Shields, and moved to London with her husband, Alexander.

Following Alexander’s death in 1971, Mena returned to the town and has no children.

She was well-known in the town after running fruit stalls at South Shields market for a number of years, and also enjoyed a number of other hobbies.

They included painting, pottery and knitting, while she was a keen bowls player.

Mena became a resident at Westoe Grange last September.

As part of her birthday celebrations, she received a special visit from the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Olive Punchion, and Mayoress Mary French.

Mrs Capewell added: “She still gets around very well and is really healthy for her age.

“She’s a little hard of hearing now, but you can have a good conversation with her.

“Although she has no children, she has a good family support network, and her niece and nephew visit her regularly.

“She had been looking forward to her big day and also our residents’ party.

“Mena also received a telegram from the Queen for her birthday, which she was very excited about.”