FRIENDS and family gathered to mark the 100th birthday of a Corbridge resident.

Lily Smith, who has lived at Charlotte Straker care home since 2015, was given a birthday bash to remember on reaching her century.

Lily was born in Whitehaven, Cumbria, in 1918, and she started working in a laundry in the town when she was 14-years-old.

She looked after three industrial washing machines, and although she found it hard work, she enjoyed her time there – particularly the social side of the job.

She said: “They used to organise a trip out to a dance every week, and everyone used to go. It was great fun.

“I can’t remember what dances we used to do, but I had some good friends and always enjoyed myself.”

Lily met her husband Fred Oliver just after the Second World War. Fred had a reserved occupation as a Bevan Boy working at the William Pit in Whitehaven.

He became known as the luckiest man in the town when he was one of only a handful who survived the William Pit disaster of 1947 after volunteering to come out of the mine to get some oil. A total of 115 miners died in the tragedy.

Lily moved to Corbridge after Fred died aged 82 in 1997, and was cooking, cleaning, washing and looking after herself until the age of 96.

Since living at Charlotte Straker, she has enjoyed joining in a number of activities and outings.

One of Lily’s biggest passions is knitting, and she has created a large number of hand-made baby clothes.

Lily has three children, Phyllis, Jeffrey and Dorothy, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.