It was a very special day as South Tyneside resident Mena Larkin turned 107!
The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Couns Alan and Moira Smith, paid a visit to the birthday girl, whose full name is Wilhelmina, on her big day.
Mrs Larkin was presented with a bouquet of flowers and an afternoon tea party at Patrick Cain House, in South Shields.
She was born on June 26, 1909, in South Shields, and spent her childhood growing up in and around South Frederick Street.
As a child she sold fruit and vegetables every week with her father at South Shields Market. She moved to the south of England for 10 years for her husband Alec’s job and returned home in the 70s after he passed away.
When Mrs Larkin retuned to the borough she was one of the first to move into Patrick Cain House and she was an avid bowler, winning many competitions for her team, Cleadon Ladies’ Bowling Club.
She has relatives throughout the United Kingdom, including several nieces and nephews, from South Wales to Scotland and across England who came together to wish her happy birthday.
The Mayor said: “It was a pleasure for the Mayoress and I to meet Wilhelmina as well as her friends and relatives.
“She is a South Shields lady born and bred and shared some wonderful stories about her life in the borough.
“One hundred and seven is a real milestone and she put it down to her love of fruit and vegetables which I think is something we could all take on board.
“The Mayoress and I thoroughly enjoyed wishing Wilhelmina a very happy birthday and wish her all the best.”
Mrs Larkin said: “I have always worked hard and lived a normal life. I’m not a smoker or drinker. I’m going a bit deaf and my eyes aren’t as good as they were, but I’m not too bad. I just get on with things.”