Rawdon Darby and Joan Club members celebrate 100th together

Wharfedale Observer: Mary Avison, left, and Mary Watson with Lord Mayor of Leeds Thomas Murray and Lady Mayoress Edna Murray Mary Avison, left, and Mary Watson with Lord Mayor of Leeds Thomas Murray and Lady Mayoress Edna Murray

Two friends celebrated their 100th birthdays with a party at the club they both still attend.

Mary Avison and Mary Watson are both marking their centenary this month – with Mrs Watson’s birthday on December 14 and Mrs Avison’s birthday on December 21.

The two have been members of Rawdon Darby and Joan Club for more than two decades, and on Monday club members helped celebrated their centenaries at the annual Christmas Party.

The event was also attended by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Leeds Tom and Edna Murray, who presented both Marys with certificates and a present.

Local councillors Graham and Pat Latty also attended.

Mrs Avison, was born at the New Inn, on Albert Square in Yeadon, the daughter of Alice and George Brown. Her mother died when she was six and she went to live with her uncle Ben, of Ben Brown’s greengrocers, on Yeadon High Street.

When her father married again she went to live with him and his new wife at Dam Field Farm at the top of Cemetery Road. She worked at the farm and at her uncle’s shop and later as a dinner lady at Westfield School.

She married her husband Percy in 1937.

She enjoys playing whist at the Rawdon Darby and Joan Club. A keen shopper, who likes a bargain, she said: “I am the best shopper there is.”

Mrs Watson was born in Huddersfield, but moved at the age of two when her father took a job on a farm just outside Esholt village. She later moved to Rawdon.

She said her longevity was down to “hard work and good food and a good daughter to look after me”.

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