Happy Doris celebrates being 106 years young
Not many people can say that they have lived through both world wars, but a resident of a Biddulph care home who celebrated her 106th birthday this week can do just that.
Doris Harding was born on 7th February, 1914, and was the centre of attention at Tall Oaks Care Home on Friday afternoon, as guests piled in to wish her a happy birthday, present her with her sixth card from the Queen and watch her blow out the candles on her cake. Among the guests was town mayor Coun Jim Davies, who delighted Mrs Harding with a bouquet of flowers.
“For someone of 106, it’s amazing to see her so happy,” said Anna Scalise, one of the care home’s activities coordinators. “She has always been a very happy person. When we told her this morning that she’s 106, I said to her that she’s actually 21 — she was laughing her head off.”
Mrs Harding was raised on Crewe Road, Alsager, by her parents, Richard and Margaret Shortland, and lived with six siblings.
She had two brothers, Richard and Bertram, the latter being killed during WWII, and four sisters, Mabel, Margaret, Lola and Gladis.
Sadly, Gladis died aged just eight. However, Mabel, Margaret and Lola all lived into their 90s.
Mrs Harding attended the elementary school in Alsager and enjoyed poetry before leaving aged 14 to start work in the service industry.
During the Second World War, she worked on munitions at Radway Green before working at Berisford’s in Congleton, where she met Ernest Harding, whom she married at Mossley Church in 1952.
Mrs Harding returned to Radway Green on her 100th birthday where she was the guest of honour at a party attended by Princess Anne. Also in attendance was Jan Selby who had worked at Tall Oaks Care Home as an activities coordinator for 18 years, before retiring in 2019.
Ms Selby, who returned to the home for Mrs Harding’s 106th birthday on Friday, said: “She is the oldest person I know. This is the second time I have been back to see her since I retired, you never forget people like Doris. We had some good times together, she’s a very observant and happy person.”
At Tall Oaks, Mrs Harding enjoys spending time in the garden, listening to music, painting and socialising.
● According to Wikipedia, the oldest living woman is 117 and from Japan.