Celebrations bloom to mark Rose’s 100th birthday

Rose Donkin is 100 today.
Rose Donkin is 100 today.

A former home help will be joined by her daughters as she marks her 100th birthday today.

Rose Donkin will mark her centenary year with Linda Cain, 68, and Brenda Fitzsimmons, 76, at her home within Havelock House on the Ford Estate and other members of her family.

Rose Donkin with daughters Brenda Fitzsimmons and Linda Cain.

Rose Donkin with daughters Brenda Fitzsimmons and Linda Cain.

Rose first married George Atkinson, but he died of TB when she was expecting Linda, leaving her to bring up Linda and Brenda, along with their sister Marion Soulsby, who died aged 68 six years ago due to cancer.

She went on to marry Edward Donkin, who worked at companies including Steels, and they lived in Roker Avenue for much of their married life together.

Linda said: “I think it’s absolutely amazing and it’s such an achievement.

“She’s said she’s here because they took my dad so young and so we could keep her for longer.

I think it’s absolutely amazing and it’s such an achievement.

Linda Cain

“We recently took her down to see the new bridge and she thought it was lovely to see.”

Her granddaughter Andrea Cain, 48, has helped organise a birthday card from the Queen.

The grandmother of four and great-grandmother of seven is not able to get out and about as she used to, but was a keen bingo player, with regular visits to the Mecca in Holmeside, and an avid reader, with Catherine Cookson and Dick Francis among her favourite authors.

She also enjoyed visiting a luncheon club on Chester Road.

Rose in her youth.

Rose in her youth.

Rose Donkin has been a keen bingo player and reader in the past.

Rose Donkin has been a keen bingo player and reader in the past.

Many happy returns Rose!

Many happy returns Rose!

Rose with daughters Brenda and Linda.

Rose with daughters Brenda and Linda.