Ripon resident celebrates 100th birthday with teddy bear's picnic

Mrs Elliott has celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends.
Mrs Elliott has celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends.

A kind-hearted Ripon resident has celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by friends and family - and her childhood teddy bear, who has also just turned 100.

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Warm birthday messages have been pouring in from well-wishers, making Barbara Elliott's celebrations even more special. And Borrage House Care Home, where Mrs Elliott has lived for four years, organised a teddy bear's picnic to mark the occasion.

Care home manager Sarah Aitken, said: "Mrs Elliott is a lovely person. She always likes to take part in the activities in the home. Her favourite activity is a teddy bear picnic which we do with St Wilfrid's Catholic Primary School. Barbara loves this event and her own teddy always attends, so she wanted to do this again for her birthday as it is also her teddy’s 100th birthday.

"We had a special buffet laid on for her and her family and other residents and the children, and of course an extra special birthday cake."

A grandmother and great grandmother, Mrs Elliott was born in Heaton in Bradford, then moved to Ripon later in her life. Before she retired, Mrs Elliott owned her own dairy farm.

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Mrs Elliott, who was in the land army during the Second World War, said: "My secret to my long life is plenty of exercise and good food - fruit, vegetables and wholemeal bread. I feel pretty good - I’m still mobile and I have my own mind, I just can’t see very well these days.

"My most positive memory of my life is my journey across Canada - I boarded the Queen Mary from Britain and arrived in New York three and a half days later, then travelled by train to Canada and lived on the prairie with my mother’s cousin. I lived there for six months and thought I would emigrate, but I got homesick so came back to England.

Mrs Elliott vividly remembers some of the biggest moments in British history, and enjoys sharing anecdotes about events like the Queen's coronation.

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She said: "For the Queen’s coronation we went to the village hall to watch it on a TV. It was the first time I had ever seen a TV. It wasn’t a party, it was just a gathering, and lots of people from our village attended."

Mrs Elliott's eldest grandchild is 64 - she's much-loved by family, friends and those have had the pleasure to get to know her over the last 100 years.