A partially sighted woman who has dedicated most her life to looking after others has turned 100.
Alice Wilson, who was born in Carnforth, had suffered problems with her right eye since birth and was fitted with a glass eye before the age of one.
She wore this until she was given glasses with a frosted right lens in her teenage years.
In 1925 she started school at the Home for the Blind in Preston, eventually living in there, learning to read Braille and helping look after the youngest children. Her music teacher, Miss Ella Day, encouraged and nurtured Alice’s love of music, particularly classical music.
In 1933, at the age of 16, Alice left the school and her first job was at the Shepherd Street Mission Orphanage before she returned to Carnforth.
She came back to Preston in 1934 to work in a nursing home on Garstang Road and renewed her friendship with Miss Day, attending local concerts with her.
Before the war, Alice had joined the School for the Partially Sighted in Preston as a teacher’s housemaid and in the late 1950s she became the Senior House Mother, which she described was the happiest time of her life.
In 1966 Alice took up a post with Galloways which was then a home for the elderly blind, but as she did not find the work stimulating she became House Mother to 25 senior girls at the Royal School for the Deaf, in 1968.
Her nephew Keith Jenkinson said: “That was very challenging work as at that time the school insisted the children spoke as sign language was not permitted.
“Alice retired in 1977, to her present home in Ingol, where she was delighted to be living near a bus stop. She is very independent and liked to go into town and to see her friends using the bus, up until recently.
“Alice used to go to Galloways in Penwortham twice a week and went on many holidays and outings with the charity. Again this has stopped due to health reasons.
“She has a love of all kinds of music, which is down to Miss Day, particularly the BBC proms season and regularly attended lunchtime concerts at the Minster.
“She was also a member of Harris Music Club for more than 40 years.
“Alice’s faith is extremely important to her, nurtured from an early age when her mother took her to Sunday School and she has been a faithful member of St Margaret’s Church in Ingol and great supporter of the Mother’s Union there.
“She continues to lead a happy and fulfilled life, as she has a great spirit about her. She plays dominoes at St Margaret’s Church and has a lot of friends.
“Alice is one of eight siblings. Her brother, Dennis, 92, and Nora, 96, are still around. Longevity is clearly in our genes.”
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