A SOUTH Ayrshire resident who worked as an engineer in the Second World War has celebrated a very special birthday.

Hazel MacLennan (nee Hope) recently celebrated her 100th birthday in the comfort of Malin Court Care Home in Maidens, South Ayrshire, surrounded by a 20-strong crowd of her closest friends and family. 

Born on February 5, 1923, on McLellan Street, Glasgow, Hazel grew up in the Plantation and Sheildhall districts of the city, attending Govan High School – a school renowned for also serving as the alma mater of Sir Alex Ferguson.  

After the outbreak of the Second World War, Hazel became one of the first young women to gain employment as an engineer, working on the factory floor at James Howden’s engineering works.

Here, she worked to build a range of aircrafts including Sunderland Flying Boats and fins and ailerons for Lancaster Bombers. 

Remembering those tumultuous years, Hazel said: “It was a strange time. Work was tough, I worked 12-hour shifts for six years at the engineering works. I distinctly remember the night of the Clydebank bombing – I spent the night perched on top of a jig, watching terrified as German planes flew overhead.

"But we got through the hard times, like always, by sticking together and making the best of it.” 

Following the war, Hazel married Donald McLennan, settling down in Ralston, Paisley, and welcomed their two sons, Murdoch and Alex. 

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Now residing in Renaissance Care’s Malin Court Care Home in South Ayrshire, Hazel is looking forward to celebrating her special day surrounded by her loved ones and receiving an early birthday card from King Charles III. 

On marking such a momentous day, Hazel said: “I am thrilled to spend the day with my friends and family at Malin Court.

"The staff at the home always go over and above to make sure that special occasions are memorable for all of the residents! 

“I am also looking forward to receiving my card from the King. I have such vivid memories of celebrating his birth back in 1948 so it is a very exciting time for me!” 

Reflecting on the past century, Hazel said: “I think the most important thing in life to me has been, and remains, family.

"Raising my two sons has been my greatest joy in life, and they are both my biggest accomplishments.” 

When asked about her secret to a long, happy life, Hazel added: “There simply isn’t one. Just live your life and try not to fear the future.

"And always make sure you take plenty of time to stop and smell the roses along the way.” 

Malin Court, situated in the village of Maidens, South Ayrshire, is a part of the Renaissance Care Group.

It currently operates 16 homes located across Scotland and currently provides care provision for 760 residents and employs around 1,150 staff.