Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Red carpet treatment for one of Leeds’ oldest residents on her 108th birthday

A special birthday celebration will be held at Harvey Nichols for Hannah Watling, who reaches the grand age of 108 this week.

The Espresso Bar at the city’s most exclusive store has invited Hannah and guests for afternoon tea, complete with a glass of celebratory champagne, to mark her special birthday.

Hannah, a resident of Burley Willows Home for Older People, will celebrate her 108th birthday in style thanks to the kind offer made by her care worker’s husband, who is the manager of the bar. She will be accompanied by her friend Olive, who is 101.

******************** Photo opportunity ********************
When: 11am, Thursday, 30 September

Where: The Espresso Bar, Harvey Nichols, Victoria Quarter, Leeds

What: Hannah Watling celebrates her 108th birthday at a special afternoon tea party
******************** Photo opportunity ********************

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult social services said:
‘’I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Hannah a very happy birthday. It’s a fantastic achievement to reach the age of 108, and I know that she’ll have a wonderful time at the Espresso Bar. What a treat!”

Wayne Stead, manager of The Espresso Bar at Harvey Nichols said:
“I’ve heard a lot about Hannah, and thought that it would be a really special treat for one of the oldest members of our community to come down to one of the most famous landmarks in the city as part of her birthday celebrations.

“We want to make it a really special occasion so will greet Hannah with a glass of champagne before she enjoys one of our afternoon teas in a specially reserved area of the bar. It will be lovely to hear her memories of the Victoria Quarter, and how things have changed in her lifetime.”

Hannah was born in 1902, and has lived in Leeds all her life. The eldest of four children, she got married to Clarence when she was 26. The couple initially moved in with Clarence's parents at Cardigan Road, and Hannah worked in a mill for a number of years. They eventually got their own house in Burley and Clarence told Hannah to stop working. The couple were not lucky enough to have any children, but owned various businesses over the years including a coal delivery business, a partnership in a pub, and a greengrocers. Clarence sadly passed away after 20 years of marriage, and Hannah has been a widow for over 60 years.

Shortly after Clarence died, Hannah sold the grocery shop and moved to Headingley. She made good friends with a lady there and the two of them enjoyed going out dancing. Later she moved into a house in the Mayvilles off Cardigan Road, where she lived for 40 years until moving into Burley Willows in March 2009.

She's settled into the home really well. She continues to be good fun and likes to help other residents at mealtimes and makes sure that everyone gets back into their own chairs in the lounge afterwards. She has lots of visitors and keeps active

Hannah’s birthday celebrations will continue on Friday, the big day itself, with an open house at Burley Willows for her friends and relatives to call in to see her and share a piece of birthday cake.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk