Wartime bride who 'looks good for 100' celebrates milestone birthday
Centenarian Sheila Dunn is one of a kind after celebrating her 100th birthday.
She is the only current resident of Field View Care Home in Blackhall to have reached the milestone.
Sheila celebrated in style with a party thrown by staff and her three children on her big day on Friday, February 21.
She puts her longevity down to her frugal and simple lifestyle having never smoked or hardly drank.
Until last year, Sheila lived independently in Peterlee where she moved in 1996 to be closer to her daughter, also called Sheila.
Son Keith, 69, said: “Her memory isn’t what it was, but physically she is quite well.
“Everybody says she looks good for 100.”
Sheila, nee Wood, was born in the village of Forest Row, Sussex, on February 21, 1920.
Her father Albert Wood served in the First World War and worked for a member of the Watney brewing family.
Sheila lived in Crowbrough, Sussex until 1946 when she moved to the North East with her husband.
She was a wartime bride marrying soldier Norman Dunn from Newcastle in 1942.
He was promptly posted overseas to the 8th Army in North Africa in preparation for the Battle of Alamein.
Sheila served her country by working in administration at RAF Brize Norton from 1941 to 1942.
After the war, Sheila and Norman, moved to Newcastle, where they brought up their family.
Their first child Barry was born in 1943 but sadly died from polio in 1950.
They went on to have three more children; Keith, Adrian, 67, and Sheila, 64.
As well as bringing up her family and being a housewife, Sheila also worked at Newcastle Dispensary which features in the lyrics of The Blaydon Races.
Sheila also has eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Her family had a special cake made up for her birthday with a picture of her as a young woman.
Field View home administrator Helen Carter said: “At the moment, Sheila is our oldest resident. She is a pleasure to have within the home.
“All the girls like her and enjoy her company.”