The Sunderland woman who was bombed out of her home, worked as a postie and is still going strong at 100

A Sunderland woman is celebrating her 100th birthday today after a lifetime which included being bombed out of her Wearside home.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 7:00 am

Annie Crompton has lived life to the full and is still going strong.

She worked full-time at the famous Sunderland mail order business Brian Mills, and did bar work at Weatheralls Night Club, La Strada and the Ashbrooke.

And then after all that, she ‘worked outdoors as a postie for 10 years until I retired at the age of 63’, she told the Sunderland Echo.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Annie Crompton who is 100 years old today.

But even more remarkably, she was bombed out of her home during the Second World War air raids not long after she first arrived on Wearside from her hometown of Lurgan in Northern Ireland.

Former WAAF Annie explained: “In March 1943, I came to Sunderland and got a flat of my own in Amberley Street, Hendon as I am a very independent person.

"During the last raid in Sunderland I was bombed out.”

Soon after Annie, who was married to husband Bill in 1941, went with her daughter Anne to Scotland while Bill was away serving in the Army but the bombings didn’t deter her from returning to a life on Wearside.

Annie Crompton holding her 100th birthday card from The Queen. Picture by Frank Reid

“After a few more months and no more raids I returned to Sunderland and got an upstairs flat near St Peters Church, Monkwearmouth. I was there 2 years before coming back to Hendon.”

"My second daughter Hilda was born in August 1948 and two years later my son Philip was born in April 1950. I had just got my first rented real home in 1949 at Helvellyn Road, Hill View Estate, where we lived for 45 years and house that Philip was born in.

"In October 1962, after 12 years at Helvellyn Road, my second son Denis was born, who I call the baby of the family.”

It was a year after that when Annie finally retired from working life after 10 years of outdoor work as a ‘postie’.

Annie with some of her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Annie and Bill celebrated 67 years of marriage before he passed away in 2008.

In her earlier life, she also came through the loss of her mother when Annie was only three years old.

She and three siblings spent more than four years in an orphanage before she took ill and had to battle pneumonia and whooping cough in hospital.

At 14 years old, she worked as a carer for a retired Methodist minister and later became a nursery assistant.

Annie pictured with her beloved husband Bill who passed away in 2008.

She has held other jobs as well and is now a grandmother of five, great great grandmother of 13, and a great great grandmother of 6. She has a ‘good family’ which she ‘loves very much’.

Annie still enjoys gardening and said ‘I find it very difficult now owing to my failing health and mobility, unfortunately, down to old age’.”

After such an eventful life, Annie still had a positive message for others.

"I thank God for the guidance and support I have received. Life is certainly not a bed of roses but it is very interesting and good. As the saying goes, climb every mountain and don’t be afraid of the dark. Keep going.”

Read More

Read More
The story of the Sunderland women who kept industry flowing as war came to Brita...

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest on SAFC and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.

Annie during her days at Ashbrooke.
Annie in her younger days.
Annie pictured when she worked at Wetherells nightclub.
Annie and a friend at Brian Mills in Sunderland.
Annie Crompton on her 100th birthday. Picture by Frank Reid