28 February 2024

Kathleen celebrates 100th birthday

5 minute read

Last week, Kathleen Archer celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends.

Known for her amazing smile, Kathleen has been a resident since 2022. Born in 1924, and the eldest of three, she was raised in Fleetwood developing a love for the sea, swimming and cycling.

Attending Fleetwood Grammar School, she held ambitions of further education, but times were tough, so she went to work to help her family.

Cathryn Davies, Kathleen’s daughter, said:

“Her Dad, Walter fought in the First World War at the Battle of the Somme and then was in Africa and Iraq. When he returned, he was a Cook and then a Master Baker. But money was always tight. Mum went to work at CIS Insurance in Blackpool and regularly Cycled the 9 miles there and back!”

Towards the end of the Second World War, she moved to London with her younger sister to continue her career and volunteered as an Auxiliary Nurse aiding injured servicemen.

It was in the capital, singing in the choir at County Hall Westminster, where she met her beloved husband, Ralph. The hall would end up being their wedding venue where they married in 1949!

After several years in London, the happy couple moved closer to home and started a family in Manchester. With two children, Cathryn and Stephen, Kathleen loved being a Housewife while they enjoyed prominent roles in the church.

Sadly, Ralph passed away in 1966 and Kathleen went back to work to support her young family. As a School Secretary at Crossacres Infant School, she moonlighted as a Typist and a Cake Baker and Decorator.

Kathleen has always loved her time with the church, but her family comes first. With two children, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren she’s spoilt for choice. 

“I was very happy in London. I made a lot of friends at the Church, and we’ve kept in touch through the years. I suppose it’s because I’m 100 I’ve got lots of friends! But I was delighted when we moved back up North as we had our first house.”

“I’ve never been a smoker and I don’t drink at all, but I must have been born with a healthy body! I can look back with a lot of happiness and a beautiful close family. I’ve enjoyed watching my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow.”

Kathleen, Resident at Lakeside Care Home

Excited about her Majesties’ congratulatory message she continued:

“It hasn’t come yet, but of course, I like the Royal Family. I had the Queen on my calendar all last year!”

“Kathleen has lived an amazing life and we’re delighted we’re part of it. She’s a big part of our home, recently she cut the ribbon at our new bistro’s grand opening! We’re delighted we were able to accommodate her and her beautiful family for her centurion celebration.”

Gail Howard, Manager at Lakeside Care Home
Kathleen with Lakeside Staff and Daughter

“She loved singing and, apart from the church choir, was a member of the Gatley Choral Society for many years. She was the first to open the door and last out to lock up.

“Always a keen swimmer, she was swimming twice a week into her mid-80s and only gave up riding her bike in her late 70s.

“As the Church Secretary at Gatley United Reformed Church for many years, she then took on the role of Pastoral Assistant visiting the sick and ensuring all the parishioners’ needs were cared for. She was busier in retirement than when she was working full-time!”

Cathryn, Kathleen's Daughter

For more information about Lakeside Care Home, please click here

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