Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

105?...I Feel 25! Jennie May Have Left School at 13' but after Witnessing Whizzing Round the Streets in Her Sports Car at 90.she's: Two World Wars, Starting a New Business at 70 and Still Teaching Us All a Thing or Two about the Joy of Life

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

105?...I Feel 25! Jennie May Have Left School at 13' but after Witnessing Whizzing Round the Streets in Her Sports Car at 90.she's: Two World Wars, Starting a New Business at 70 and Still Teaching Us All a Thing or Two about the Joy of Life

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE BLACKBURN

And the feisty, independent Stockton centenarian, who still lives in her own home, shows no signs of slowing down.

In fact, she says: "I'm 105, but I still feel 25!" By her own proud admission Jennie has led "a full and varied life". As well as enjoying bowling, golf and swimming, until her mid-90s she could be seen tearing around town in her racing green MGB sports car. She eventually traded it in for a more sedate Volkswagen, which she only stopped driving two months before turning 100. In her younger years she rode pillion passenger thousands of miles round Britain on her late husband Tom's motorcycle.

And when most 70-year-olds were collecting their pension, Jennie set about opening a new florists shop on Stockton's Yarm Lane.

It was only when she was 85 that she admitted the time had come to retire from business - to enjoy her busy "other" life.

When Jennie was born on February 3 1905, the Russian Revolution was only months away, Queen Victoria had been dead for just four years and the horrors of the First World War were still nine years away. She was born in Hartlepool but her toolmaker dad quickly moved Jennie, her brother and two sisters to Nelson Street in Stockton where they grew up.

With an astonishing encyclopedic memory, she recounts major historic events from her early childhood.

She was on her way to school when German battle cruisers bombarded Hartlepool on Wednesday, December 16, 1914 -leaving a trail of death and destruction. Two years later she witnessed a mighty Zeppelin airship soar over Stockton on its See more pictures life on our way to bomb Hartlepool, soon to be shot down in flames by anti-aircraft guns. "What a sight that was," she said.

She left Holy Trinity School "at 13'" and went to work at Strikes where she learned the skills of a florist.

In the Second World War Jenny's son, Tony was still a child. "We had to get up in the Jennie's night and go to the shelter, night after night," she said. …

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