A Colne care home resident has celebrated her 100th birthday in style.
Margaret Cowell, who lives at MHA Belvedere Manor care home, celebrated her centenary at an event which included speeches from her loved ones; a performance from 'Wild Bill', Margaret’s favourite entertainer at the home; and a special tribute from her great-grandson on his guitar.
Born in Hull, Margaret was one of nine children and times were often tough, particularly during The Great Depression when she remembers taking her mother's dough to the bakery to bake the bread in their ovens before carrying the heavy loaves back home.
Margaret went on to work in a cafe in Hull and become Head Cook, by which time World War Two was well underway and the city was being targeted - Margaret vividly remembers hiding in her family’s air raid shelter in their garden as well as seeing the family who lived two doors down being carried out of their house on stretchers.
At the age of 26 in 1945, Margaret met her husband-to-be, Glyn. Due to his position in the navy, Glyn was given just 48 hours' leave to marry Margaret which resulted in their wedding taking place in a bombed church with only half a roof. The happy couple then moved to Lancashire following Glyn’s job offer to work for Rolls Royce in Barnoldswick and had two children, Michael and Glynis.
The family spent many happy years holidaying in the seaside resort town of Withernsea, where Margaret’s parents had a bungalow right on the coast, as well as caravanning abroad. Asked about her hobbies, Margaret said she always loved to bake and that, when her children were growing up, she was a big fan of knitting. To the inevitable question of her secret for a long and happy life, she answered: “Look after yourself and keep carrying on.”
Glynis Cowell, Margaret’s daughter, said: “Mum is such a character – she loves to tell stories about her past, which I know the staff at Belvedere Manor love to hear. It was fantastic to see her opening her congratulatory card from the Queen with its personalised message.”
Ali Gopaul, Home Manager at MHA Belvedere Manor, added: “Margaret is a much-loved member of our Belvedere family – she always has a smile on her face and has time for everybody. Big thanks to all of our staff for ensuring she celebrated in style!”