South Shields great-gran toasts 100th birthday in style

A family gathering spanning the generations as Eleanor enjoys her milestone moment with 18-month-old great grandson Jack.
A family gathering spanning the generations as Eleanor enjoys her milestone moment with 18-month-old great grandson Jack.

A great-gran from South Tyneside is raising a glass to her good health – after sharing the ‘sherry’ simple secret to longevity as she toasted her 100th birthday.

Eleanor Cowey marked her milestone birthday on Saturday and says treating herself to her favourite tipple is fuelling her thirst for life.

Eleanor Cowey celebrates her 100th birthday' with daughters Marilyn McCoull and Janice Nicholls.

Eleanor Cowey celebrates her 100th birthday' with daughters Marilyn McCoull and Janice Nicholls.

The fiercely-independent centenarian still lives in her own home, in Salisbury Street, South Shields, and has a busy social diary.

She marked her milestone birthday in a week when her family increased in size.

On Tuesday, her third great-grandson, Dhilan, made his way into the world.

Mrs Cowey’s birthday was celebrated at a family party and fellow parishoners at Westoe Road Baptist Church also held a party in her honour.

The secret is a glass of sherry

Eleanor Cowey

She still enjoys regular outings with the Inner Wheel group at St Gregory’s Church.

Mrs Cowey said: “I was born in South Shields, in Alverthorpe Street, and have always lived in the town. I worked at Reyrolle during the war as an accountant.

“The secret to a long life is enjoying a glass of sherry.”

Mrs Cowey was married to late husband Arthur, who ran a TV shop in Fowler Street, South Shields, for over 40 years.

Her daughter Marilyn McCoull, 67, said: “She has help from carers, but she still lives at home. She is doing great and still gets out a lot.”

It has been a momentous week for Marilyn, as her son Chris welcomed his second son just days before his mum turned 100.

She added: “Mum has three great-grandchildren now. There is Jack, who is 18 months, and my son Chris has two children, with Dhilan only born on Tuesday.”