FAMILY and friends made a milestone toast to a former landlady from South Tyneside who celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday.
A special party was served up in honour of Veronica Williamson – known as Ronnie – at The Lodge Residential Care Home, on Farnham Road, South Shields.
Staff and fellow residents joined Mrs Williamson’s granddaughter Jill Jordan, 48 and her daughter-in-law Margaret Williamson, 78, for the birthday bash.
A message from The Queen capped off a fantastic afternoon for the grand old landlady of the borough, in the company of loved ones and her pals at the close-knit care home.
The borough’s latest centenarian married the late Jim Williamson on Christmas Eve 1935, remaining married for more than 35 years, and the pair had one son, Jimmy, who died in 2004.
Grandaughter Jill Jordan said: “She has always been known as Ronnie and was one of eight children born in Alfred Street in South Shields.
“She was landlady of a number of pubs in the Lawe Top area of South Shields, including the Crown, The Lookout and the Beehive from the 1950s to the 1970s.
“She retired from the Beehive when decimalisation was brought in. She was also a keen darts player.
“She adored her son Jimmy. She’s had a really good day at the party.”
John Shiells, home manager at The Lodge Residential Care Home, added: “It’s a fantastic achievement for Ronnie. She often tells me that my job reminds me of her work when she was a landlady.
“She will always tell us when we are doing something right, and even when something isn’t quite right.
“She’s a great character. She has been with us since October, 2010. One of the staff cared for her in the community so she is very close to the staff here.”