South Shields women celebrate 100th birthdays with 'fish and chip dinner' and chance to enjoy get-together

A pair of newly turned 100 year old South Shields residents have been able to celebrate hitting a century together thanks to a voluntary organisation which supports elderly residents in the area.

Happy at Home party for Jean Macdonald and Lily Miller (R) celebrating their 100th birthdays at The Sea Hotel.
Happy at Home party for Jean Macdonald and Lily Miller (R) celebrating their 100th birthdays at The Sea Hotel.

Lily Miller and Jean Macdonald have both lived in South Shields all their lives and both turned 100 this year, with Lily being born on March 5, 1921 and Jean on June 2, 1921.

The pair were able to celebrate their birthdays together with a party at The Sea Hotel in South Shields thanks to Happy at Home, a voluntary organisation which supports elderly people across South Tyneside.

The party brought a much needed celebration after a difficult year of not being able to meet up, according to Mim Reay, from Happy at Home.

Happy at Home party for Jean Macdonald with carer Claire Adamson and Lily Miller with organiser Mim Reay (R) celebrating their 100th birthdays at The Sea Hotel.

She said: “The girls loved the party. We all had a fish and chip dinner, a game of bingo and sat and had a good chat, which is something we’ve really missed being able to do during the pandemic. Everyone just loved being out again.

“At Happy at Home we provide support for elderly people in South Tyneside, befriending and social events to support isolated and lonely people. During the pandemic we’ve been keeping in touch with everyone in our project and now we’ve been able to set up hubs again to meet in a Covid secure environment.”

Lily Miller was born in Hedley Street South as the oldest of seven children and attended Barnes Road School before seeing out her formal education at Dean Road School.

The 100 year old attributes her longstanding good health to a lifetime of hard work, abstinence and regular walks - one of her favourite pastimes.

Jean Macdonald was born on St Vincent Street as the youngest of two children and attended Westoe School and Art School before working at the fashion department at Binns Department Store and then moving on to her dream job at L&H Fabrics on Frederick Street.

Jean was married for 65 years to River Tyne policeman Charles Macdonald and had two children, John and Julie before Charles passed away in 2006.

Both Jean and Lily now both enjoy keeping up with the progress of their grandchildren as they grow older.

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