100-YEAR-OLD Thornaby resident Marion Lawrence marked her centenary this week with a glass of sherry and slice of homemade cake at the care home where she lives.
Staff and fellow residents at Mandale House Care Home, on Acklam Road, surprised Marion with a celebration after she said she didn’t want to make a fuss.
The home’s kitchen team created a tea party complete with a specially made birthday cake decorated with edible daisies – Marion’s favourite flower.
She blew out her candles after everyone at the home sang happy birthday.
She also received a telegram and card from the Queen, congratulating her on her milestone year, which staff at the home will frame.
She said: “I told you not to make a fuss but I’m glad you did and I’ve loved every minute of it.
Marion added: “I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to stay home and staff safe.”
Marion was born on 29th March 1920, one of eight siblings, and has lived in Thornaby her entire life. She recalled: “We attended Sunday School and I won a bible for reading poetry.”
She married Thomas Lawrence at St Paul’s Church, on Cambridge Road, in 1939, with whom she had two children, Brian and Marion.
Following the outbreak of the Second World War, Marion worked at the ICI making munitions, and later worked in various shops around Thornaby. She said: “I enjoyed talking to people.”
Marion moved into Mandale House Care Home in June 2018, where she regularly takes part in activities with other residents. Bingo is a favourite, having enjoyed regular games at the town’s Queens Club.
Tracey Wilson, activities coordinator at Mandale House Care Home, said: “It was a pleasure to organise a birthday party for Marion.
“She said not to make a fuss but it was her centenary and we wanted to do something to mark the occasion, especially as the home is closed to all but essential visitors at the moment.
“It’s amazing to think she was born 100 years ago, has lived through the Second World War, and seen her hometown changing so much over the past century.
“She is a much loved resident and everyone thoroughly enjoyed celebrating her birthday.”