Minnie Liddle is set to mark her latest massive milestone on Sunday – and is thought to be one of the oldest people ever to have lived in Doncaster.
Staff at Stainforth’s Oldfield House care home will once again be marking Minnie’s big day with a special celebration – and her 108th birthday sees her closing in on the record of the UK’s oldest person.
That title currently belongs to Mary “Mollie” Walker who is 112 while Charlotte Hughes, Britain’s oldest ever person, made it to 115 before her death in 1993.
And Minnie says the secret of such a lengthy life span is cigarettes and alcohol!
She quit her cigarette habit at the age of 99 – but still enjoys a daily glass of brandy or Baileys and lived independently until she was 104 before moving into care.
On her last birthday, her granddaughter, Joy Young, of Barnby Dun 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.
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 swept across the country in 1918.
She has also seen four monarchs and 21 different Prime Ministers.
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.
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.
She has two sons, seven grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, and eight great great grandchildren.