ILKLEY resident Norah S Haswell celebrated her 100th birthday last Wednesday (August 27) with a party at Troutbeck Nursing Home attended by her family, friends, staff & residents.

Mrs Haswell spent most of her life in Middlesbrough, until moving to Ilkley three years ago to be near her daughter.

She was born in Middlesbrough just three weeks after the outbreak of the First World War.

Her father, Ernest J Smith, an Accounts Clerk for Middlesbrough Borough Council, served initially with the Yorkshire Hussars, and then with the 12th Cheshires in Salonica, Greece.

He survived the war and returned to live a long and active life which included serving for over 25 years as Honorary Secretary of the North Yorkshire and South Durham Cricket League.

Mrs Haswell's paternal grandfather was James Smith, a Justice of the Peace, Middlesbrough Borough Councillor, Secretary of the Middlesbrough Trades and Labour Council and Vice Chairman of Middlesbrough Schools Board in the late 19th Century.

Norah attended Marton Rd Primary School and then won a scholarship to Kirby Secondary School for Girls (later Kirby Grammar School). When she left school she worked for the Newhouse family at their store in central Middlesbrough (now Debenhams), where she was an active member of their swimming and mixed hockey teams.

She met her husband, Sam Crossley Haswell - who died in 200 - at a tea dance at the Elite (later the Elite cinema). They married at St Oswald’s on Marton Grove Rd, Middlesbrough, and went on to have a son and two daughters.

Sam was the well-known and respected joint Managing Director of North Eastern Refrigeration Company, which pioneered the design and installation of air conditioning plants throughout the north east. They also installed the new innovation of refrigeration units in famous north east stores such as Hinton’s and Robb’s of Hexham.

Like Norah’s father, Sam was also a war veteran, serving in the Second World War in the Royal Army Service Corps in the Middle East, North Africa and Italy.

Norah’s hobbies included needlework and reading, and she was a mean darts and dominoes player! She was an active member of the Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England and the Middlesbrough Forum.

In their retirement, Norah and Sam travelled extensively in continental Europe and the Canary Islands. They travelled through Romania at a time when foreign visitors were unusual.

The 100th birthday celebration at Troutbeck was attended by five generations of Norah’s family. Her daughter amused the guests with a presentation of the story of Norah’s wonderful 100 years told through photographs.

Norah and her family would like to thank everyone who helped to make this such a special occasion, and would also like to thank the staff of Abbeydale and Troutbeck for helping her to achieve this memorable milestone.