Great Britain

Happy 100th birthday! Fall and hospital admission fails to spoil big day for Keighley woman Muriel

A FALL and a hospital admission failed to stop a Keighley woman celebrating her 100th birthday in style.

Muriel Mason, a resident at Incommunities’ Farish House sheltered accommodation, was admitted to Airedale Hospital after taking a tumble.

But she didn’t miss out on marking her big day.

Muriel was given special permission by hospital staff to briefly see a family member, open her special card from the Queen and enjoy displays of flowers.

And she even had a visit from Airedale NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Brendan Brown, who joined ward staff in singing Happy Birthday.

Muriel said: “I’ve lived through a lot and have many great memories – and Keighley is very much my home.

“Despite these difficult times right now it’s been great to have family near, including my great nephew Andrew and his wife Emma – who I call my ‘dear niece’ - and their children plus my nephew Michael from Morecambe.

“Everyone at Farish House is really friendly and I’m determined to get back home as soon as possible.”

Andrew said: “Muriel had been lucky and never had to spend a night in hospital until now, but she is in good spirits and thrilled by everyone’s love and support.

“She’s a lady that’s full of beans!”

Muriel was born in Worth Village – the eldest of four children – and married Billy Mason at the outbreak of the Second World War, when she was just 19.

They moved to Thwaites Brow.

When Billy joined the army as a gunner, Muriel started employment as a munitions worker in the town.

She recalls how hard it was being apart from her husband for over three years, until the end of the war.

Muriel loves ballroom dancing and bingo – and used to go with friends to the old Keighley Mechanics Institute and dance halls in Bingley and Bradford.

Following the death of her husband in 1982, Muriel decided to go travelling – enjoying the sunshine of Spain before returning to this area to live at Spring Row.

She moved to Farish House 18 months ago.

When asked about the secret to a long life, Muriel – a Chelsea fan who enjoys watching live football on TV – said a drop of brandy in her tea every day!

Tribute is paid to Muriel by Geraldine Howley, Incommunities’ group chief executive.

She said: “Many happy returns to Muriel from everyone at Incommunities!

“We wish you a good recovery and hope you’re back home soon.

“These past few months have been particularly hard for older people and those living in our retirement living schemes, like Farish House.

“It’s meant everyone adapting to new ways of living and working and I would like to thank residents, staff and visitors for their patience and understanding in these difficult times.”

Incommunities is one of the largest social housing providers in the UK.

The group was formed as Bradford Community Housing Trust following the transfer of housing stock from Bradford Council in February, 2003.

It has around 21,300 rented and 1,000 leasehold properties and a workforce of around 1,000 people.

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