Even at 100 years young you can’t get one over on local lady Gladys Liddell. When the residents of RBH's Arnold Bagnall Court independent living scheme set about organising a ‘surprise’ birthday party to celebrate the centenarian’s big day they didn’t count on her sharp wits to outsmart them.
Beverley Morgan, RBH scheme manager, said: “We were sure we had things planned without her knowledge but Gladys is still as sharp as a new pin. She knew something was up.”
By the time the celebration day arrived Gladys had it mostly figured out.
Gladys said: “People kept coming up to me and telling me that I’d be one hundred soon. Friends were whispering and I could feel that something was going on.”
The 100th birthday party was a top do not only for Gladys but all the residents with lots of wine, food, music and, most of all, good cheer. The icing on the cake was added by an affectionate visit by Mayor of Rochdale Ray Dutton.
Mayor Dutton celebrated Gladys’ one hundred years with a light-hearted speech looking back on her life. He revealed how Gladys was born in Rawtenstall, worked locally all her life and volunteered at Springhill Hospice for over 25 years. One of the more sombre moments was when Mayor Dutton explained how for 18-months her husband Cliff, whom she lost a few years ago, was missing in action in the Second World War. Eventually letters began to arrive and Gladys knew Cliff was all right.
Beverley Morgan comments: “At 100 Gladys remains spritely, active and full of vim. She’s a wonderful person loved by everyone here. We wish her all the best for her 100 years and wish her many more to come.”