LITTLE Mix’s oldest fan has plenty to celebrate today as she reaches the grand old age of 100.
Jenny Gasston, who lives in Glenthorpe House, West Stevenson Street, South Shields, was surrounded by her loved ones to mark the milestone.
The great-grandmother-of-two said she was looking forward to opening her card from the Queen.
But she also received a special birthday message from Little Mix, who she has a special connection to. Her son, Stuart, is the partner of South Shields-born member Perrie Edwards’ grandmother, Nancy Hogg.
Nancy said: “She loves Little Mix. She’s also got their CDs on and every time I see her she asks how Perrie and the girls are getting on.”
Jenny is also a fan of Perrie’s fiancé Zayn Malik’s boy band, One Direction.
Nancy added: “She thinks Zayn is very handsome and she’s always talking about the boys. She met Zayn once when he came to visit with Perrie and she really liked him.”
Jenny was joined at her home yesterday by Nancy and Stuart, as well as friends, her grand-daughter Julie Tyrell and husband, Shaun, and her great grandchildren Shannon, 17, and Jake, 13.
Jenny was once a well-known businesswoman in South Shields, the owner of a general dealer’s, on the corner of Alice Street and Bertram Street, and the off-licence across the road.
During the Second World War, she supplied dozens of people with boxes she’d made up of food and other essentials.
Despite not expecting anything in return, everyone paid her back when the war was over and they could afford it.
Each year, Jenny would also supply the Gospel Temperance Church, in Laygate, with oranges for its Good Friday celebrations.
She said: “I’ve very excited about getting my letter from the Queen, I’ll be waiting by the door for it.
“They said it’s being personally delivered by a lady so I’m very excited to read it.
“I don’t feel like I’m 100. I’ve worked hard though, had plenty of good food and fresh air – I think that’s the secret.
“I’ve got tons of friends and nice family who are here to celebrate with me and I couldn’t wish for anything more.”
Stuart, 71, said: “I think it’s wonderful that we’re celebrating my mam’s 100th birthday. It’s a very special day for us all.”
Jenny will be the guest of honour tonight as her friends and family gather together at Glenthorpe House for a party.
Her birthday celebrations will continue on Monday when the family visit the Mecca Bingo hall, in Dean Road, where they’ll be provided with a free dinner, champagne, and a few rounds of bingo.
Nancy said: “We’re so proud of Jenny, she’s just fantastic. We can’t wait for her party and she’s very excited for Monday because she loves the bingo.
“She can’t play any more but she still likes to go along. Today is a very special day.”