Elsie celebrates turning 100 – in more ways than one

A MOSSLEY woman certainly had a busy way of celebrating her 100th birthday, by opening the 120 cards she received.

Members of Mossley Cancer Committee called for people to send Elsie Smith a token as they could not do anything face-to-face.

She may now live in Sheffield after daughter Joy wanted her closer to her home at the beginning of Covid-19 lockdowns last March.

But when she returned to her hometown to visit her granddaughter earlier this month, she was greeted by a huge pile of envelopes to open.

Elsie Smith – 120 cards for 100th birthday

And she also joined in with a virtual coffee morning with the committee.

However, any big celebration will be on hold until her big friend Dorothy Dawson also reaches her century.

Valerie Lee, of Mossley Cancer Committee, said: “I was surprised at the response, but Elsie is a very popular Mossley person.

“One hundred and twenty cards isn’t bad at all, is it? And what was nice was residents of Sandon House made cards for her.

“Elsie was ecstatic at the response. We took them to her granddaughter’s, and it took her a while to open them all – when you’re 100-years-old, you don’t do anything fast!

“We put an appeal out to the whole of Mossley and we also had several from children whose parents spotted it.

“Elsie came to Mossley on her birthday weekend – she turned 100 on the Friday and she came on the Sunday.

“But on the Saturday, we held a coffee morning over Zoom and Elsie was with us on that.

“She was also a regular at a lot of things that were community-based. She’d go to the luncheon club at the Methodist church and things like that.

“And she’s been a big supporter of the Cancer Committee for a long time. She’s good friends with Dorothy and she’s decided she’s going to wait until she turns 100 next year before they have a proper celebration.

Elsie with Dorothy Dawson

“When we first went into lockdown, she went to stay with her daughter and she initially wanted her to stay and live with her.

“But Elsie said, ‘Ooh no, I’m not living here. I want my own house.’ Now they’ve got a warden-controlled flat near her.

“It was a big thing for Elsie to come out of Mossley, where as far as I know she was born and bred, but she realised that was the safest thing for her.

“And I’m sure that if possible, her daughter will bring her to the first in-person event we have.”

Mossley Cancer Committee may not have been able to hold their coffee mornings because of the lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions.

There is not yet any date for the first in-person one now things appear to be easing, nor any of the other fundraising events to have.

But that has not stopped them from raising a five-figure sum to help people living with the condition in Tameside.

Valerie added: “It’s been a hard 12 months but even over the course of lockdown, we managed to raise £15,000 by doing things online like virtual coffee mornings.

“But even though things appear to be easing, we’ve not got anything planned yet. We want to see how things go.”

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