A GREAT great grandmother celebrated her 100th birthday in style last week – as her whole street stood outside to applaud her.

Anna Leith marked her centenary year on Thursday, May 21 with some of her family, before being treated to a grand lockdown reception by her neighbours and friends, as they sang Happy Birthday.

The former Auxilliary Territorial Service worker, who lives with her daughter Gillian Connolly, 66, in Troon, was bombarded with well wishes, and as the day went on, the flowers and cards kept coming through the door.

A young piper, Nicholas Redford, who has been entertaining residents and care homes throughout lockdown, also turned up to play a few tunes which had Anna buoyantly tapping her feet.

Gillian, a retired nurse, told the Ayr Advertiser: “It’s not every day your mother’s 100. It was absolutely incredible. The piper just turned up out the blue. She was blown away.

“The whole street was out. Everyone was keeping their distance but it was mobbed. It was just amazing.

“All our plans for a big family get-together had been scuppered because of the lockdown, but the way the day went was just so memorable for everyone. Words can’t describe it.”

Anna is the youngest of eight children. She has three daughters, eight grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren (with two more on the way) and two great-great-grandchildren aged four and six.

She was brought up in Troon, and when she started work at hairdressers Morgan Thaler’s, even the town’s famous secondary school Marr College hadn’t finished completion.

In 1942, she married Bill after their eyes met across the badminton court.

The couple would go on to be husband and wife for 73 years, with Bill, who served in North Africa during World War Two, living till the grand age of 97.

Most of her family are across Ayrshire, apart from her daughter Susan, who stays in Lincoln.

Gillian added: “She missed her daughter and family who stay down south. We FaceTimed but she still can’t quite believe that she can see people on a screen.

“She says we have too many gadgets. She was totally overwhelmed, but she loved being outside.

“She has always loved fresh air, I think that’s her secret to reaching 100.

“She always kept active and played badminton until she was 76. She was bowling up until she was 93.”

Despite Anna’s birth being registered 100 years ago, Gillian was reminded of a mistake made by her late grandfather, which nearly led to complications over the telegram from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

She revealed: “When my mum was born, her dad had to walk from Troon to Ayr to register her birth.

“But when he got to the registrar he put the wrong date down.

“My gran was not too pleased, and he even got her name wrong, so it says Annie.”


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