At 100, is this Sunderland’s oldest pianist?

Hilda Spooner holding her 100th birthday greeting card from HM The Queen and surrounded by members of her family.

Hilda Spooner holding her 100th birthday greeting card from HM The Queen and surrounded by members of her family.

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BIRTHDAY girl Hilda Spooner is still tinkling the ivories at the age of 100.

The retired piano teacher celebrated her milestone event surrounded by her family and friends with a party at Alexandra View Care Centre in Southwick yesterday.

Hilda, the eldest of seven children, was born in Page Street, Hendon, and attended the old Hendon Board School.

After gaining her music qualifications she became a piano teacher, teaching youngsters from her home.

In the early sixties she worked in a number of shops across Wearside, before returning back to her love of music and playing the organ at various churches and the piano for the local scout group and for youngsters at Valley Road School in Hendon.

Niece Jan Beaton, from Tunstall, said: “Hilda never had any children, but she loved to spend time with all of her nieces and nephews, taking them out and knitting for them,

“She was always very fashionable and loved following the latest trends. Hilda loved music and was very well known, especially in the Hendon area, for her piano teaching, and with her involvement with the schools and churches.”

In the mid eighties Hilda joined the Salvation Army, and regularly played at their services in Sunderland until four years ago.

Up until May this year, she lived independently at Nelson Close Sheltered Accommodation in Rhyope, but after suffering a fall she moved into her current home.

Mrs Beaton said : “Hilda was allowed to bring her piano into her new care home which was lovely.

“So she still has a little tinkle now and again, and she knows her piano is still there for her.”