South Shields friends celebrate turning 99 within days of each other

Sylvia Phillips and Doris Short celebrate their 99th birthdays
Sylvia Phillips and Doris Short celebrate their 99th birthdays

Two close friends have marked reaching the remarkable age of 99 with a joint birthday party.

Sylvia Phillips and Doris Short were born within days of each other and grew up in South Shields.

They both attended the same dance hall in Westoe but neither knew each other.

They got to know each other when Sylvia’s daughter Val Lawson was working in Austria - alongside Doris’ son Peter.

Since then they have become firm friends

The party for Sylvia’s close family and companions was held at the Mission to Seafarer’s in Mill Dam South Shields on April 3 with catering provided by close friend Vicky Richens.

The venue was chosen as members of Sylvia’s family were former Tyne Pilots.

Daughter Val, who attended the party along with her sister Linda, said: “My mam is very proud of her heritage so it was an appropriate place to celebrate her birthday.

“Doris is a close friend of my mam and with her birthday being so close, we thought it would be nice for Doris to celebrate her birthday too.

“It was nice hearing them talking about their memories from when they were younger.”

She added: “It was just a pleasant day and the people at the Mission to Seafarers couldn’t do enough for us.”

Close family and friends travelled from across the region to help the two ladies celebrate their birthdays - Sylvia officially turned 99 on April 3 while Doris turned 99 on Good Friday.

Mrs Lawson added: “The two ladies enjoyed the afternoon party together.

“It is a remarkable age, and we wanted to do something special for them.”