HAPPY birthday to two of Sunderland’s oldest women.
Lydia Atkins celebrated her 105th birthday yesterday and Eleanor Currie was 104 on Wednesday.
Lydia married Leslie, a master carpenter. They moved to Rainton Bridge in 1976 when they retired after owning a guest house in Ramsgate, Kent, to be near her sisters, Elizabeth Surtees, of Houghton, who died aged 92, and Jessie Hardy, of Easington Lane, who also died in her 90s. She also had six brothers.
The couple lived together in Rainton Bridge until Leslie died in 2000 aged 92. Lydia now lives at Manor House Care Home, Easington Lane.
They had two children, Gordon, who died aged 66, and Barbara, and seven grandchildren.
Barbara now lives in her parents’ house in Rainton Bridge, after moving to Sunderland from New Jersey, USA.
“I moved here seven years ago to take care of mum,” said the 74-year-old. “It was a difficult decision to move her into a home, but the staff there are excellent.”
She added: “The party was really nice. They had a cake for her and lots of party food.
“The Mayor and Mayoress visited to give her a card, and I applied to the Queen for a card for her.
“There was entertainment and everyone enjoyed that. It was great.”
“Mum has lost her short-term memory so it’s hard to buy her presents,” said Barbara.
“She’s still mobile though, and her health is in pretty good shape for her age.”
Eleanor Currie, who lives at Hylton View Care Home, Old Mill Road, celebrated her 104th birthday on Wednesday.
The born-and-bred Mackem – known as Ella – has lived in Southwick all her life, only moving from Hahnemann Court, when the flats were demolished.
She and husband George, an engineer at the shipyards and inspector at Bristol Aircraft, who died aged 88, had two children, George, 70, who lives in Penrith, and Jean Darwin, of Seaburn.
Eleanor is a grandmother of five and great-grandmother of seven.
“She is fitter than I am,” said Jean, 82. “She is incredibly fit for her age.
“She walks with a walking frame and goes to church every Sunday.
“And she is still absolutely all there – spot on.
“When people go and visit her she knows exactly who they are.”
Hylton View Care Home celebrated Ella’s birthday with a party, and a tipple of her favourite drink, Baileys.
Jean said: “They usually have a birthday tea for people, which is always nice.
“I’m sure she would have got up to dance if she could.”