Sunderland grandmother ‘ahead of her time’ celebrates 100th birthday

Hannah Hardy celebrates her 100th birthday
Hannah Hardy celebrates her 100th birthday

A Sunderland woman who was ‘ahead of her time’ has celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends.

Hannah Hardy marked the momentous occasion with a party at Rowlandson House care home in Sunderland on Tuesday, April 11.

Hannah Hardy celebrates her 100th birthday with daughter Susan Hardy and son Nicholas Hardy

Hannah Hardy celebrates her 100th birthday with daughter Susan Hardy and son Nicholas Hardy

The event - which featured a Vera Lynn tribute singer - was organised by her two children Susan Hardy, 69, and Nicholas Hardy, 64.

Susan said her mum a woman who was ahead of her time in many ways, taking up work to support her family in the 1920s when she was just a teenager.

“My mum was born in 1917 in Easington during the First World War,” she said.

“She was a woman ahead of her time as she was the breadwinner of her family.

“Her father, Arthur Mawson, had bad rheumatoid arthritis and had to give up work, so she took up a job at Binns in Sunderland in the 1930s as a trainee hairdresser.”

Following her time at Binns, Mrs Hardy opened her own hairdressers on Seaside Lane in Easington in the 1930s where she worked with her mother, Jenny Mawson, and three other girls.

Susan added: “It was hard work back then as hair took a lot longer and I remember her telling me what while she was pregnant with me there would be days she would work until midnight.

“She then met my father Frank Hardy who was the deputy head at Barbara Priestman Academy for 40 years. He sadly died ten years ago.”

Alongside her two children, Mrs Hardy also has two grandchildren Sarah Hardy, 29, and Alex Hardy, 25.

She added: “Education was really important to her because she hadn’t really had any.

“My mum was a force to be reckoned with and was always out to improve herself.

“She lived all over Sunderland, but ended up living on Queen Alexandra Road in Sunderland.

“I think she felt that she has achieved something.

“She was also great campaigner for animals.”