happy 100th birthday to believe housing customer Mary

A believe housing customer who has lived in the same village since she was a baby is about to turn 100 – and puts her longevity down to hard work, close family and good neighbours.

Mary Eales, who lives in Leeholme, near Bishop Auckland, will celebrate her 100th birthday on Monday, 30 May.

The Neighbourhoods Team at believe housing helped her to get the celebrations off to an early start this week.

Neighbourhoods Team Leader Carolyn Handley and Neighbourhood Officer Natasha Meite-Mekatoa visited Mary this week with a card and a Ringtons hamper full of goodies – which turned out to be the perfect gift as she’s a loyal Ringtons customer.

Mary and her late husband, Thomas, married at St Joseph’s RC Church in Coundon and had three children.

Thomas was a miner at Leasingthorne Colliery and Mary worked in the pit canteen and did domestic work.

The couple enjoyed dancing in local halls and clubs and Mary also had a keen interest in indoor bowls.

She said: “A woman in those days did everything, I think hard work has kept me fit.

“I’ve lived around here since I was carried down the street at a fortnight old, I’ve got really good neighbours.”

Mary’s daughter, Anne Scarlett, visits her every day.

Anne, from Spennymoor, said: “I’m very proud of her. She’s a strong woman and I think she looks marvellous for her age.”

Mary also had two sons, who have sadly passed away.

John was a well-known boxer for Shildon BR who represented England nine times and Stephen was a long-distance driver who always made time for his mother when he was home.

Carolyn Handley, Neighbourhoods Team Leader at believe housing, said: “We offer lots of support for our customers through the tough times, so it is lovely to be able to celebrate the good times with them too.

“Mary is an incredible woman and everyone at believe housing wishes her a very happy 100th birthday.”