Doncaster resident who has lived through two World Wars and Spanish Flu pandemic celebrates 107th birthday

They say smoking reduces your life expectancy.

Saturday, 12th December 2020, 7:00 am

But keeping her cigarette habit until the age of 99 has not done Doncaster pensioner Minnie Liddle too much harm!

Minnie is today (Saturday December 12) due to celebrate her 107th birthday, and could be the borough’s oldest resident.

She lived independently until she was 104, but moved to the Wyndthorpe Hall care home, on High Street, Dunsville, three years ago.

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Happy birthday Minnie!

She is celebrating her big day with a party for residents at the home.

Her granddaughter, Joy Young, of Barnby Dun, is also visiting, but is the only member of the family who can see her because of coronavirus restrictions.

Joy said: “She lived in her own bungalow until she was 104 – and she only gave up smoking when she was 99, and she still loves a brandy.

"I can’t give her a hug, but there is a kiosk visitors can go into. It’s been a difficult year. I don’t know when the vaccines are going to be done, but I don’t think it will be this side of Christmas.”

Minnie Liddle, pictured celebrating her 105th birthday. Picture: NDFP-11-12-18-Liddle105-4

She’s lived through two world wars, and is one of the few people in the borough who was alive last time Britain was gripped by a pandemic, when Spanish flu gripped the country in 1918.

Minnie was brought up in Sunderland, where she and husband, Albert, lived until the 1960s.

During the war, Minnie had worked in the Barnes Hotel in the city while she brought up their oldest son, while Albert, serving as a sergeant in the army, was overseas.

After the war, Albert worked as a stonemason, making gravestones.

Minnie Liddle with her carers at Wynthorpe Hall

He later switched jobs to work for Pearlmans, a warehouse retail firm that sold to the public, who would put money into a savings scheme with the firm.

Pearlmans set up a Doncaster operation in Hexthorpe in the 1960s, with Albert and Minnie moving to Doncaster, Albert as manager and Minnie working in the warehouse. They set up home in Arksey.

Albert died in his early 60s, with Minnie moving to Bentley, where she was well known at her local church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, in Bentley.

Minnie has longevity in her family. Her mum lived to be 101.

Minnie with home manager Sussane Ball and staff Jade Mcdonnell, Tracy Preskey and Alisha Wilson.

She has two sons, seven grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, and eight great great grandchildren.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.