'Remarkable' South Shields woman celebrates 106th birthday as she reflects on extraordinary life

A woman who lived through a century of change is celebrating the 106th birthday – and has revealed what she says has been her secret to a long life.

Sheila Cork with her letter from the Queen on her 106th birthday
Sheila Cork with her letter from the Queen on her 106th birthday

Sheila Cork from South Shields, was born 106 years ago on May 20, 1915, when British forces were fighting in the First World War.

As well as living through two world wars, she has seen 25 Prime Ministers lead the country, during an amazing century of change.

But Sheila as well as watching more than 100 years of global events unfolding, she has lived a busy life herself, having travelled the world.

Sheila Cork, 106

Sheila was one of nine children in her family and those who know her said over 106 years she has lived her life to the fullest, touching the lives of many.

A former office worker, in the 1930s Sheila worked for grocery firm Miller and Douglas before getting a job at South Shields town hall.

After meeting her husband Norman, the pair got married in 1942 and had one daughter, Jennifer.

A keen traveller, Sheila has visited South Africa, India, China, and many other destinations.

When asked what the secret to long life is, Sheila simply replied, “laughter.”

She encouraged others to have the jab.

Speaking at the time, she said: “I never thought I would see such a pandemic in my lifetime, and I have lived a long time I am so grateful for the vaccine.”

Staff at Needham Court Care Home, in Jarrow, where Sheila lives, said it was an honour to celebrate the impressive birthday of their very special resident who has touched the lives of many.

Despite her age, Sheila is still full of life, energy and laughter, according to staff at the care home.

June Appleyard, Administrator at Needham Court Care Home said: “She is a remarkable lady for her age and we are very proud of her.”

To celebrate turning 106, the Needham Court team arranged a party and singer to perform for Sheila and other residents.

Needham Court Care Home, run by provider HC-One, provides residential and dementia care to over 50 residents in South Tyneside.

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