Birthday girl Sylvia has the Tyne of her life as she turns 100

Sylvia Phillips had the ‘Tyne’ of her life celebrating turning 100 - with not one, but three birthday parties.

The active centenarian, who still lives in her own home on the Lawe Top, South Shields, kick-started her birthday month with her pal Doris Short, who also shared the same milestone.

Then on her actual birthday, April 3, Sylvia - who is mum to Val Lawson and Linda Stokes - was thrown a special lunch at the People’s Mission in Fort Street.

Finally, on Saturday, family and friends gathered at the Customs House in Mill Dam, for another bash which saw Sylvia enjoy a dance with the venue’s boss Ray Spencer.


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Family friend June Hayes also made an impressive cake in the shape of the Groyne.

Val said: “We were very keen to get mum as close to the Tyne as possible as both of her brothers and father were Tyne Pilots.

“She always said she would have been one too had she been born a boy - so the river is very important to her.

“Everyone was amazed by her Groyne cake - I don’t think many people would have seen such a thing. It was a shame to cut it.”


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The gran-of-two used to run a hairdresser’s in Woodbine Street, South Shields, until she retired in her 60s.

The family also owned a bakery at Harton Nook.

Val said: “Mum is very independent, she’s always wanting to be out, we can’t keep her in.

“She loves walking and lots of people recognise her from her strolls down the seafront.


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“We are delighted the Customs House and the People’s Mission made such an effort for her special day, it was very kind.”