Secret to a long life? Taking things steady!



Secret to a long life? Taking things steady!

GENEROUS Frances Lawton paid tribute to friends and family – after four generations came together to celebrate her 100th birthday.

Born in Alsagers Bank during the First World War, Frances was one of just a handful who saw the ominous Zeppelins floating over South Cheshire.

After school in what is now Richard Heathcote Primary, in Alsagers Bank, and Sir Thomas Boughey High, in Halmerend, Frances went into domestic service at the age of 14, serving among others the Johnson family of Keele.

She married Joseph Lawton on Christmas Eve in 1940, just before he fought as a Desert Rat in North Africa in the Second World War, and the couple went onto have three children before Joe sadly died in 1992.

Frances has also been a keen volunteer, and says her love of family and a clean life have seen her reach a grand age.

She said: “I’ve lived a steady life. I’ve never done anything silly, and I’ve had lots of friends and family.

“I’ve enjoyed my day, and I’m hoping to reach 110.”

Daughter Maralyn Wallace, aged 68, lives with her mum at Hayfield Road in Silverdale.

She said: “She means the world to us. She worked hard all her life, she looked after her family, and she’s still very involved in what we do.”

Nicola Willetts, aged 43, from Bath Street in Stoke, is one of Frances’ eight grandchildren.

She said: “I’ll always remember going up to see her and grandad and their dog, Peggy. We always looked forward to it.

“She knitted everything for my eldest, and she did a lot of work for the premature baby unit at the hospital. She’s wonderful.”

Nineteen-year-old Bethany Nicklin, also from Hayfield Road, is the eldest of 13 great-grandchildren, who all made a donation of £100 to Ray of Hope, a charity close to centenarian Frances.

She said: “I see her as an inspiration. She’s always thinking of others, and she’s lived a great life.”

Elizabeth Glover is co-ordinator at Newcastle Blind Club, where Frances volunteered for many years.

She said: “She’s been a great supporter for us for many years, and it’s lovely to be here to celebrate her birthday.”

Sandra Hambleton, mayor of Newcastle, who also attended Frances’ birthday party, said: “It’s a privilege to meet someone who has lived a great life.”

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