Sunderland great-grandmother who was one of first in city to get covid jab celebrates 100th birthday

The family of Nancy Rooks have helped her to celebrate turning 100 years old despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 5:19 pm

Born on January 4, 1921, Nancy Rooks from Grindon has celebrated turning 100 years old with her family despite the Covid-19 pandemic meaning they couldn’t have a big celebration.

Her daughters, Brenda and Jean, along with her grandson Steve and great-granddaughter Daisy-Mai had isolated so they could spend a small amount of time with Nancy on her big day.

It was also the first time in almost a year that Nancy had seen Daisy-Mai, making the special day even better for her.

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Nancy Rooks celebrated her 100th birthday on January 4.

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Her daughter Brenda Cunningham, from Fatfield in Washington, said the family were delighted to be able celebrate the occasion.

The 66-year-old said: “Normally we would have had a get together and taken mum out for the day but unfortunately we have had to do very little.

"She has had floods of flowers and birthday cards, I think her highlight has been receiving her card from the Queen.

Nancy Rooks celebrating her 100th Birthday with (rear left to right) daughter Brenda Cunningham, grandson Steve Cunningham, great-grand-daughter Daisy-Mai Cunningham and daughter Jean Thompson. The family had been isolating to ensure they could spend a little bit of time with Nancy on her birthday.

"Mum was really excited to see Daisy, the last time she saw her, Daisy could only crawl and now she is up and running around.

"The celebrations are on hold for now but we will make up for it when we can.”

Brenda added: “She is very proud of the work that she did during the war when she was working on the Lancaster Bombers and she is always telling everyone about it.

Nancy got to see her great-granddaughter Daisy-Mai for the first time in almost a year.

"A few years ago, my son bought her a canvas artwork print of the plane and it is her prize possession.”

Shortly after the war, Nancy married Edward Rooks on July 6, 1946 and the couple went on to have four children, along with opening a fish and chip shop on Beach Street.

Sadly, Nancy was widowed at the age of 50 and has been on her own ever since, however her family have always been there to support her.

Nancy's daughter Brenda said her mum's highlight was receiving a birthday card from the Queen.

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