A SHIRLEY care home has had double the fun as two of its centenarian residents celebrate their birthdays.
Alice Ward, Swallows Meadow’s oldest resident, celebrated her 101st birthday while Hylda Townsend marked her 100th year last week.
Born in Blackburn, Alice spent most of her working life running a family newsagents in Manchester with husband Horace, whom she married in 1933. During the Second World War, she carried on running the shop single-handed while her husband served as a fireman.
Still living in her own home until four years ago, she moved to the borough to be closer to her relatives. And she has certainly got plenty of those - three children, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
In fact, her youngest sister Janey is still going strong and will celebrate her 100th birthday in December.
Hylda, born on March 7, 1933, had her own chain of hairdressing shops across Birmingham and Solihull before she became a local doyenne of bridge. An English Bridge Union vice president, and a member of the its tournament committee, the widow was a recipient of a prestigious Dimmie Flemming Award.
She was also a founder member and one time president of Moseley Bridge Club. Playing well into her 90s, Hylda, was made a life member of Warwickshire Contract Bridge Association in 2009, which she had formerly chaired.
Pam Holden, staff nurse at Swallows Meadow, said the secret to having so many residents hitting triple digits was down to its staff.
“We’re a small team and we don’t have a big turnover so we get to know everyone. We soon pick up if there are any problems.”