30 May 2024

Warm celebrations for centenarian Elsie

By Terry Bearpark

It may have been cold, damp and foggy outside on Sunday afternoon but the inside of a Holderness care home was warm and bright and full of happiness as a resident celebrated her 100th birthday.

Elsie Smith was born on December 11, 1922, the eldest of five girls born to Peter and Ethel Charlton in Burstwick, when the country was still recovering from the Great War, King George V was on the throne and Andrew Bonar Law was prime minister.

She attended Burstwick School and during the Second World War worked
in the canteen at RAF Lissett, south of Bridlington. In 1949 she married Gordon Smith and was married for 20 years.

The couple did not have children of their own but enjoyed having seven nieces and nephews who were regular visitors to their home.

Gordon worked in agriculture and both he and Elsie had a smallholding in Halsham where they grew vegetables and kept chickens.

When Gordon died, Elsie moved back to Burstwick and lived next door to her sister Jean, spending a lot of time together.

In later life she would play bingo at the Hare and Hounds every Tuesday and was an enthusiastic member of the local Darby and Joan club, enjoying going on outings organised by the club.

For the past eight years Elsie has found happiness at her new home, Ryehill Lodge, where she is much loved by the staff and popular with residents.

On Sunday afternoon she was the centre of attention at her birthday party as three generations of nephews and nieces arrived to help her celebrate the momentous event.

She was also one of the first to receive a personal signed birthday card from King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla.