Prestwich care home Heathlands Village, celebrated a unique occasion in its history this year, with a 1940s-style birthday party for no less than four of its 170 residents and tenants who turned upwards of 100 this month.
The all-female group of centenarians – two of whom were celebrating their 102nd birthdays and two their 101st birthdays – were joined by other residents, staff, volunteers, relatives and friends for a joyous party with entertainment by dance duo GI Jive and 1940s tribute singer, Vicki Bee.
Sheila Heywood-Holt the home’s operations director commented: “You cannot imagine the privilege of caring for people who have reached such a remarkable age! They are so precious to us. We really consider them the jewels of our little community.”
Celebrating their 102nd birthdays were Lea Glaskie and Margaret Broome, while the ‘youngsters’ of the quartet, Pearl Snowise and Estelle Demby were marking their 101st birthdays. The home is currently home to seven centenarians in total, with a further four due to get their special card from The Queen in the coming year.
Lea commented: “Since the day I came here 15 years ago I’ve been happier than I would’ve been at home. I was lonely. I didn’t drive anymore. The party was a very big surprise. I’m very grateful.
“I’ve met The Queen and had dinner with her three times, twice at Clarence House and once at Kensington Palace. The last time was 35 years ago. I was wearing a dress my mother made. The Queen asked me what my profession was, and I told her I didn’t have a profession and was a businesswoman and she asked me what business. I told her fashion and she looked me up and down and said, ‘I thought so!’”
Unfortunately, Pearl was unable to attend the party but standing in her place to help blow out the candles was Ralph Black who had his 101st birthday last November. Like Lea, he lives in his own flat in Moorview, the village’s supported independent living facility.