Birthday girl Helen celebrates turning 100 in style

Helen Freeman with sons John, left, and Peter.
Helen Freeman with sons John, left, and Peter.
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Birthday girl Helen Freeman marked her 100 years in style.

The centenarian had a party at Prince Edward Court sheltered housing unit in South Shields, which was attended by her family, friends, the Mayor of South Tyneside and ward councillors.

Mrs Freeman’s main present was a new television from her sons Peter, 70, and John, 60, so she could watch her favourite shows.

Peter, from East Boldon, said: “Mum had a lovely afternoon with lots of visitors.

“She received a new television, as she was struggling with the control of her old one, and there will be more celebrations at the weekend when the rest of the family arrive from down south.

“She might be 100 but mum is doing very well for her age. All the ladies from where we grew up have lived well into their 90s, so we think there must have been something in the water.”

Born in South Shields to John and Ellen Bulmer, Mrs Freeman attended Stanhope Road School until she was 14.

Three days later, she started work at GK Lee’s clothes shop in Fowler Street, South Shields, earning four shillings a week.

During the Second World Ward she was a volunteer with the fire service.

The gran-of-four, and great grandmother-of–four, then worked at the Co-op in Boldon Colliery and Prince Edward Road.

In 1943 she married Thomas Freeman, but sadly became a widow in 1954, when he passed away just months before John was born.

After raising her boys, Mrs Freeman became a welfare assistant at St Peter’s and Paul’s School in Tyne Dock before retiring aged 65 and then volunteering for the WRVS at South Tyneside District Hospital.