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The borough celebrates birthdays of two centenarians in one week.

‘PARTY girl’ Lillian Sutton celebrated her century in style this week at Greenhill Way Day Centre.

‘PARTY girl’ Lillian Sutton celebrated her century in style this week at Greenhill Way Day Centre.

Staff at the Shirley-based centre knew their oldest resident expected a special celebration for her 100th birthday on Tuesday May 1 and so had decked out the room and even hired a singer.

“I am enjoying today very much, I’m getting a big girl now,” joked Mrs Sutton who puts down her long life to her love of dancing and a “tot of whiskey” in her tea.

“I used to go dancing a lot, that kept me going,” she said.

“The waltz was my favourite, I never stopped. I used to love it. It was how I met my husband.”

Mrs Sutton and husband Ernie, who has passed away, were one of the first inhabitants in Jacey Road, Shirley where they spent the next 70 years of their lives together.

Senior day care assistant Deborah Blakemore said staff had decided to celebrate Mrs Sutton’s birthday as she was the first Greenhill Way Day Centre visitor to reach 100 and still loved a good party.

“She was a bit of a party girl, she’s our dancing queen,” she said.

Mrs Sutton wasn’t the only one in Solihull to celebrate her 100th birthday this week as Francis Smallwood was joined by friends and family on April 29 at Alexandra Court Nursing Home in Olton. He was visited by his daughter who flew over from South Africa to join the celebrations.

Mr Smallwood started work at the Post Office aged just 14 and went on to spend the next sixty years there, working through two World Wars as an engineer.

But his happiest memory was meeting his beloved wife May Victoria, now deceased.

“She caught my eye. I met this girl out on the street and took her for a walk one day, “ he said.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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