Good friends, a great age . . .

Three residents at Lands House, Rastrick, who have reached the milestone age. Pictured from left is Mabel Buck, who is 101, centre is Gwen Smith, 100 in January and right is Alice Wynne, aged 107'(Echo use only!)
Three residents at Lands House, Rastrick, who have reached the milestone age. Pictured from left is Mabel Buck, who is 101, centre is Gwen Smith, 100 in January and right is Alice Wynne, aged 107'(Echo use only!)

KEEPING active and enjoying the company of good friends.

Just two of the reasons why Alice Wynne, Mabel Buck and Gwen Smith who live at Lands House Care Home, Rastrick, are among the oldest residents in the borough.

Both Alice and Mabel are both in their 100s and Gwen will celebrate her centenary in January.

It is a record for the home, although there are plenty of birthday cards from the Queen yet to come.

Proprietor Georgina Copley said most of their residents are aged over 90 but that has always been the case. “Many of them have been with us for some time and they are very good friends,” she said.

“We have only ever had one 100-year-old at a time before so to have three is lovely. We are very proud to have them with us.”

Alice is the oldest resident at the age of 107, and could possibly be the oldest in Calderdale.

Alice was born in Claremount, Halifax, in 1904. She worked in the former Paton and Baldwin’s wool mill in Halifax, before taking a job at Halifax Borough market.

Her late husband, Thomas, died when Alice was 82 and the couple’s only son died when he was 47. She has lived at Lands House for eight years.

For her birthday next July, Alice has requested to meet a very special VIP.

Georgina said: “On her last birthday we asked her if she’d like to see anyone special like Vera Lynn.

“She said ‘no’ but then a week before her birthday she said she would like to see the Queen.”

Staff wrote to Buckingham Palace but their request was initially turned down.

However, Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker got involved and Alice now holds an invitation to attend the Queen’s garden party in May and she has a new hat especially for the visit.

Resident Mabel Buck celebrated her 101st birthday earlier this month with her family. Originally from Pudsey, Mabel married Alec Mawson in 1933 before moving to Brookfoot in 1936. The couple had three children, Pat, Elaine and Peter. Her husband died in 1972.

Mabel married Ernest Buck in 1985 and were together up until he died in 1998. The former weaver is one of seven children and has grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. Her secret for a long life is keeping busy.

Gwen is originally from London and will be celebrating the milestone birthday after Christmas.