Dorothy marks 100th birthday

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS: Dorothy Bird, 100, with her niece Zelma Barry and nephew Keith Newnham. 221406MH

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS: Dorothy Bird, 100, with her niece Zelma Barry and nephew Keith Newnham. 221406MH Buy this photo

First published in News Kidderminster Shuttle: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A STOURPORT woman with a “determined” personality has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Dorothy Bird, a resident at Hernes Nest House in Bewdley, toasted the milestone by having high tea with family, friends and the Mayor of Bewdley, Linda Candlin.

The centenarian worked as a carpet picker for Bond Worth Ltd and in the early 1970s she repaired carpets at 10 Downing Street when Edward Heath was Prime Minister.

She was also chairman of Stourport Townswomen’s Guild for many years.

Mrs Bird’s niece Zelma Barry said: “My auntie is a very determined woman. She lived on her own until the age of 99 and she drove right up until her 80s. Her hobbies were sewing, knitting or baking and she was very creative.

“She also spent her spare time indulging in marquetry, tapestry and toy-making and she made delicious cakes at birthdays.”

“Dorothy says she does not feel 100 but she knows it is a landmark anniversary.”

Mrs Bird was born in 1914, the same year as Sir Alec Guinness, who starred in films including The Lavender Hill Mob, The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts and Coronets, and Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, whose work included Under Milk Wood, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Fern Hill and A Child’s Christmas In Wales were also born.

Both individuals have been featured on commemorative Royal Mail stamps celebrating famous people born 100 years ago.

At the time of Mrs Bird’s birth in May, 1914 the UK was facing a range of domestic struggles.

The Suffragette movement was intensifying and a general strike of miners, railway workers and port workers was being planned.

The year was culturally significant too. Charlie Chaplin had just made his film debut in the silent comedy Making A Living and Pygmalion, the play by George Bernard Shaw, had opened to critical acclaim.

Cost of living records were also collected in 1914 for the first time. In that year a pint of beer cost twopence-halfpenny and dinner at a five-star restaurant seven shillings and sixpence. A four-cylinder car cost £730 and the Prime Minister Herbert Asquith received a salary of £5,000.

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