Staying active all her life – and a regular drop of sherry – have helped sprightly Ethel Cowling reach the grand old age of 100.
Ethel celebrated her birthday at Abbeyfield House, Low Moor, Clitheroe, with a special cake, a card from the Queen and a visit from the Mayor and Mayoress of Ribble Valley, Coun Michael Ranson and Mrs Janette Ranson.
She was surrounded by family, neighbours and well-wishers for an enjoyable morning of chat and memories.
“I’m amazed. I didn’t expect all this fuss, but I’m enjoying it,” said Ethel. “It’s very nice when we all get together. It’s bringing memories back”
Ethel, originally from Staffordshire, lived in Silsden then Crosshills, Yorkshire, with her husband Stanley, who used to be a mill foreman, until they moved to the Ribble Valley 25 years ago when Stanley went into residential care at the Manor House and Ethel moved into a bungalow in nearby Beech Grove.
She liked village life in Chatburn and coped on her own with help from friends and neighbours. She baked her own bread and went walking every day until she was well into her 90s, but she had a fall two years ago and went into residential care.
“I’ve always tried to keep active,” said Ethel, who used to enjoy walking, driving, cycling and dancing. “I’d still have a waltz with anyone, but I shouldn’t because of my hip.”
Ethel has a son Jeffrey, who lives at Grindleton, and daughter Barbara Ballen, who lives in Canada. She has a granddaughter Jacquelyn Cowling in Grindleton. two grandsons and three great-grandchildren in Canada, a grand-daughter and three great-grandchildren in Switzerland, and a granddaughter and three great-grandchildren in Carlisle.
At Abbeyfield House, Ethel enjoys a daily treat of a small glass of sherry in the morning and another in the evening – always Croft Original.
She said: “I’ve had a good life and I’m satisfied. The home here is very nice and the staff are wonderful.”
by Eric Beardsworth
A birthday toast for sprightly Ethel Cowling with son Jeffrey Cowling, granddaughter Jacquelyn Cowling and the Mayor and Mayoress.