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A Rishton woman whose life celebrated 3 centuries celebrated her 107th birthday in March 2004.

Ivy Heys, thought to be the oldest person in Hyndburn, and was born in Rishton, in 1897, During the reign of Queen Victoria and has lived through some of the 20th Centuries greatest events.

Ivy, of Addison Court Nursing Home, Accrington, is one of the oldest women in the country. But she is still a few years behind the current record-holder, who is an incredible 111.

Ivy – an accomplished flower-arranger and knitter – is a native of Rishton, although she lived in Clayton-le-Moors for most of her life. She worked as a ring spinner at the town's Victoria Mill  from the age of 12, where her initial salary was just half a crown a week.

Ivy Heys with Addison Court Manager Jan Hunstone

She and her late husband William – a collier who died in 1958 – were married at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Rishton, in 1919. The couple settled down in Clayton Le Moors and had 3 children, Suzie, Joseph, and Marie. Suzie is currently 82 and in London, and Marie, 66, lives in Blackpool.

Joseph went on to marry Edith, and the couple lived in Accrington.  Her son Joe, born in 1926, lives in Sparth Road, Clayton-le-Moors, with his wife Edith, and they visit Ivy every day. He said: “We will just be taking it slowly probably. Not much of a fuss, just congratulations and a nice day.”

Ivy has a whole hosts of grandchildren, great grand children, and great great grandchildren, but Edith said there are simply too many to count!

Ivy moved into Addison Court nursing home, Addison Street, Accrington, about 1995, when she was nearly 100 years old. She has been described as very fit for her age.

She will celebrate with a quiet gathering of family and friends. Ivy’s incredible strength and life force are legendary in the care home. Administrator Sheena Tyldesley said: “She’s a wonderful woman and we all hope she has a lovely birthday.”

Asked what the secret is to Ivy’s long life, she said: “She would probably say not to drink or smoke. As with all residents here, she is cherished. She‘s actually quite quiet but very popular, and she likes things just so. She’s very particular.”

Ivy, one of 10 children, lived in Sparth Road, Clayton, before moving to Queen Street in the town. She has been a resident at Addison Court from the age of 99.

She has three children, three grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

References

Accrington Observer 14th March 2003, 8th March 2004.