Sunday, June 23, 2024

South Ockendon resident celebrates 104th birthday

LEATHERLAND Lodge care home in South Ockendon, celebrated Annie Smith’s 104th birthday on Tuesday the 13th of June. 

A huge celebration was held at Leatherland Lodge for Annie’s momentous milestone birthday, with friends, family, team members and the South Ockendon community. 

Born on the 13th of June 1919 in the East End of London, Annie was one of five children. Prior to marrying her first husband, Annie worked in a sweet factory in East London called Clarnico.

At 21 years old, Annie married her husband and moved to Yorkshire, where he served in the King’s Royal Hussars. 

Annie spent many years in Yorkshire. She had four children, Patricia, Malcolm, Tony and Phillip, caring for them at home whilst their father fought in the army. There was 14 years difference between her eldest child, Patricia, and her youngest son, Malcolm. 

In 1957, Annie returned to London where 10 grandchildren would follow, followed by great grandchildren.

Over the course of her 104 years, Annie has lived through many pivotal moments in British history. She experienced her childhood during the Great Depression and spent her 20’s living through World War II. In her 50’s was the winter of discontent, where ITV went off air for 5 five months and the country witnessed major strikes amongst postal workers, miners, and dustmen. During her 60’s, Margaret Thatcher came into power and the rights to buy your council house came into effect.

In her 90’s, same sex marriage became legal in the UK, the same year that Annie moved into Leatherland Lodge. Annie is the longest staying resident at the care home, residing there for over 9 years.

Home Manager at Leatherland Lodge, Kerry Cooper, said: “We are so happy to have celebrated such a momentous occasion at Leatherland Lodge care home and this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience with Annie.

“The team have worked incredibly hard to organise the entertainment, food and refreshments. I cannot thank them enough for all their work and for giving Annie such a memorable experience at Leatherland Lodge.”

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