Sunderland woman who built planes during the war has celebrated her 100th birthday

From left: Coun David Fleming, Rev Sarah Gill, Margaret Avery, Mrs Averys daughter Catherine and Coun John Lethbridge, Chairman of Durham County Council.
From left: Coun David Fleming, Rev Sarah Gill, Margaret Avery, Mrs Averys daughter Catherine and Coun John Lethbridge, Chairman of Durham County Council.
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A Wearside great-grandmother who helped build aeroplanes during the Second World War has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Born in Sunderland in 1918, Margaret Avery worked at a place factory in Manchester during the war.

Despite her valuable contribution to the Royal Air Force at such a crucial time, Margaret didn't fly in a plane until her 80th birthday, when her daughter and nieces took her on holiday to Benidorm in Spain.

Margaret met her husband, Jack Avery, who was from Bishop Auckland, at a wedding after peace was declared, and the couple got married in 1946 and had their daughter, Catherine, the following year.

Margaret was a housekeeper for a County Durham family for many years, and later worked as a barmaid in clubs and pubs, working into her late 80s.

She and Jack were married for 63 years before his death in 2009. She has two grandchildren, Clare and Graeme, and five great grandchildren.

A keen bingo player, Margaret was also an active member of Woodhouse Close Church in Bishop Auckland for many years.

She celebrated her birthday surrounded by friends and family at the church and received flowers from Coun John Lethbridge, Chairman of Durham County Council.

Reverend Sarah Gill, said: “Margaret is a dedicated and mvalued member of Woodhouse Close Church and I would like to say thank you to everyone who helped make her birthday party special.

“It was a privilege to host the party. The beautiful decorations, music, food and fellowship created such a special atmosphere.”