Great-great grandmother celebrates 103rd birthday in Worthing

Friendly Doris Woolner is always happy, so it is no surprise she had a huge grin on her face at her 103rd birthday party.

Saturday, 13th October 2018, 4:00 pm
DM18100048a.jpg. 103 year old Doris Woolner, pictured with her relatives. Photo by Derek Martin Photography SUS-180210-173356008

Her family describe her as a wonderful cook and a fabulous mother. She always had rough collie dogs and loved to knit.

On Doris’ birthday last Tuesday, 12 family members visited her at Clapham Lodge care home in Woodland Avenue, Clapham, for a party.

She had the biggest grin on her face, staff said, and received gifts of soft toys and lots of flowers.

DM18100054a.jpg. 103 year old Doris Woolner. Photo by Derek Martin Photography SUS-180210-173419008

Melissa Marshall, activities coordinator, said: “She is lovely and always happy, with a wicked sense of humour.

“She is a very happy, friendly person and an absolute delight.”

Staff at Clapham Lodge pampered the birthday girl with a manicure and making her hair look nice, as well as organising karaoke in the morning, as Doris loves to hear people sing.

Doris was born in St Albans on October 2, 1915, and grew up with her parents and older brother Leslie on the outskirts of London.

DM18100057a.jpg. 103 year old Doris Woolner. Pictured with her daughter Jennifer at the aged of 7. Photo by Derek Martin Photography SUS-180210-173430008

Their uncle and father served in the First World War, with her uncle fighting in the Battle of the Somme.

As Doris and Leslie stayed in London during the war, their mum used to sleep in bed with them, so they did not get scared.

When she was 16, she worked in London in the shorthand and typing department of Cable and Wireless Communications, and was living in Thornton Heath.

At 23, Doris was married to Richard Woolner, a carpenter and joiner, who she met at one of the dances she liked to go to.

The couple had two children, Jennifer and Andrew, and later moved to Littlehampton, to follow Doris’ parents, who had opened a shop there.

Doris now has four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.