A good sense of humour is said to be the reason Upper Eden woman Dorothy Greenlees has enjoyed a long life, who celebrates her 100th birthday today.
Dorothy, who now lives at Christian Head Care Home, in Kirkby Stephen, will have family visiting her to help her celebrate.
Originally from Kirkby Stephen, she is the daughter of Fred and Maggie Kindleysides and was born on 14th October, 1920.
Her father worked in the town making clogs and later went to work in the quarries.
Dorothy had one brother, Kenneth, who sadly died and, after her mother died, Dorothy went to live in Lancaster with her great-aunt, returning to live with her father and stepmother when she was aged six.
She attended school in Kirkby Stephen until she was 14 years old and on leaving education went to look after another family’s child for a year before starting to work at the former Armstrong’s Cafe — now an Indian restaurant in Market Square.
It was in the cafe that Dorothy met her future husband, Alexander Greenlees.
He went to war in 1939 and was away for five years, and was missing for one of those years.
While Europe celebrated VE Day, Alec was in Burma where the war continued.
During the war, Dorothy was posted to a factory in Blackpool where she worked making screws for aeroplanes.
On Alec’s return, the couple were married at Kirkby Stephen Parish Church in 1946 and moved to Newbiggin-on-Lune.
They had two daughters — Margaret Wilson, who now lives in Witherslack, near Grange-over-Sands; and Joan Richardson, of Ravenstonedale.
Dorothy dedicated herself to bringing up the children while Alec worked in a general store in Newbiggin-on-Lune. He died in 2000.
Dorothy continued to live in Newbiggin-on-Lune until 2015 when she moved to Christian Head.
When asked what the secret of her longevity was, Dorothy said she “hadn’t a clue!” but her daughter Margaret put it down to her mother always having a good sense of humour.
Margaret added that throughout her life her mother said she had never known anything like the COVID-19 pandemic.
However the restrictions have led to Dorothy learning a new skill — using online technology to keep in touch with her five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.