A remarkable centenarian celebrated her 100th birthday at a Colne care home surrounded by friends and family.
Margaret Cowell was treated to speeches from her loved ones, a performance from her favourite entertainer ‘Wild Bill’, and a special tribute from her great-grandson on his guitar at the Belvedere Manor care home.
Born in Hull, Margaret was one of nine children and spent most of her childhood years playing with her siblings.
However, times were often tough – especially during The Great Depression when Margaret remembers taking dough that her mother made to the bakery, to use its ovens, before carrying the heavy load of bread rolls back to the house.
She later went on to take a job at a café next to the old Cecil Cinema in the centre of Hull, where she worked her way up to head cook.
By this time, the Second World War was well underway and Hull was being hit by many serious bombings. Margaret vividly remembers hiding under 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.
In 1945, at the age of 26, Margaret met her husband Glyn. Due to Glyn’s position in the navy, he was given 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. A few years later, Margaret and Glyn 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. When asked about her hobbies, Margaret replied that she always loved to bake and that, when her children were growing up, she was a big fan of knitting.
And when asked about her secret to living a long and healthy life, Margaret replied: “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.”