Friends, family and neighbours took to the streets to wish Doris Cole a very happy birthday, as the Bromford customer reached the impressive landmark age of 100 on the same day as the Queen.
Doris moved into her Winterbourne home, in south Gloucestershire, 68 years ago with her late husband, son and two daughters and has stayed there ever since having grown up in the village. The waitress and housewife had been involved in a serious car accident around the same time but soldiered on despite breaking some bones in her neck.
She now has four grandchildren and eight great grandchildren and puts the secret to her success down to doing “everything in moderation.”
Daughter Susan Shellard said: “She is really quite a character my mum but she has always been pretty sensible too and puts her longevity down to doing everything in moderation.
“She’s had a very varied life and during the war while she was waitressing at Winterbourne Court she used to look after all of the pilots who stayed there. I lived in France for quite a few years, so she also used to come over and stay with us until I moved home four years ago. She gave us a very good upbringing and was always there for us.”
Although Doris has carers come in daily, she still retains a high level of independence and lives on her own which has been particularly impressive given the current government lockdown.
“She thinks the current situation is totally mad and always comments on how quiet it is, so I do keep telling her why and that it won’t be forever,” Susan went on.
On Tuesday 21 April, dozens of residents gathered in the streets while respecting the social distancing guidelines to wish Doris a happy birthday on reaching her century milestone. She received a card from the Queen and her great grandchildren stood with banners reading ‘Happy 100th birthday great nanny!’ as Doris waved to her friends and family.
Neighbourhood coach Catherine Sweeney arranged for a card and flowers to be dropped off by her colleague Amanda Robbins while she follows the guidance around self-isolating.
Susan added: “Mum said to me ‘what’s all those people doing out there?’ so I said ‘it’s your birthday mum, you’ve made it to 100’ and she said ‘don’t be so stupid, I don’t feel 100’ and that just typified her wicked sense of humour. She had a great birthday and it was lovely to see so many people turn out to wish her well.”