Happy 100th Birthday Doris

April 18, 2017

We are delighted to say that Doris Giblin, who lives at Sycamore Court, celebrated her 100th birthday on Tuesday 18th April, with a big party, surrounded by family and friends.

The spirited 100 year old celebrated her birthday in style.  She has been delighted to receive her birthday card from the Queen and to be surrounded by loved ones on her special day – enjoying a drink and slice of cake.

This special centenarian has lived at her home in Sycamore Court, an Extra Care Scheme run by local organisation Witton Lodge Community Association for 17 years – being one of the first tenants in the complex when it opened in 2000.  Doris is now the oldest tenant.

Doris now has 9 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and 16 great-great grandchildren – with another on the way in July.

When Doris was born in 1917, the First World War was still raging, George V was King, David Lloyd George was Prime Minister and Woodrow Wilson was President of the USA.  Back in 1917, Sutton Coldfield would have been a small town, separate from Birmingham – and Kingstanding was open fields and farmland.

Doris was born in Bridge Street, Newtown, one of 8 children.  She married husband Ted at the age of 21, and the couple lived in a back-to-back house in Aston.  They had 2 children, Shirley and Janet.

Doris raised the children on her own at first, as Ted was away from home during the war – being captured and held in a prisoner of war camp.

Speaking about life in a back-to-back house, Doris said “People never had anything, they used to go to the pawn shop, to pawn their goods for some money.  But I left school at age 14 and worked in a brass fittings warehouse.  I worked there for 47 years, leaving at age 61.”

When their house in Newtown was going to be demolished to make way for high-rise flats, the family moved to a house in Finchley Road, Kingstanding.  Doris spent nearly 60 happy years living in the house.  She lived with husband Ted and when he passed away on her own – Doris maintained the 3 bedroom house on her own – with the help of her family.  In time though, the house and gardens were proving to be difficult for Doris to maintain. 

In 2000, Sycamore Court has just been built – as part of the wider rebuilding of the Perry Common estate – and Doris was one of the very first tenants to move in.

Asked what tips she has for reaching 100, Doris replied “Having good family, good food and an occasional Bitter Shandy.

Daughter Shirley, 76, says: ”It’s really good to celebrate moms 100th birthday – seeing her enjoying the day with all her friends and family.”

Congratulations Doris!