Happy birthday to Lilian, 109, oldest woman in Preston

Lillian in her 20s
Lillian in her 20s
Have your say

A woman who is believed to be the oldest in Preston has celebrated her 109th birthday.

Great-grandmother Lilian Florence Todd was born at home at Hopwood Street, Preston, on October 15, 1906, to Ada and Levi Todd.

Lillian with her granddaughter Eve Grace.

Lillian with her granddaughter Eve Grace.

Lilian now lives at Knowle Rest Home in Ashton. Her granddaughter Lisa Gallacher said that the secret to Lilian’s long life is in the genes, down to a feisty personality and a basic diet of eggs and fish.

She said: “Longevity runs in the family as her parents both lived to their mid 90s and her sister Elsie lived until 104.

“I think the secret to her longevity is her determined and feisty personality, and also a very basic diet mainly of eggs and fish.

“I think she is one of the top 30 oldest people in Britain and the oldest person in the North West, according to the website oldest people in Britain.”

Lilian’s father Levi helped build Blackpool Tower and she was the third youngest of nine children.

She attended a little mission school in the area and then went to Ribbleton Avenue Primary School. Lisa added: “In her younger years, Lillian used to help her mother in their grocer’s shop on Hopwood Street.

“Her first job was as a domestic in Watling Street Road and then she worked for a headmaster as a domestic in Whitestake, Longton.

“Her mother then suggested she get a job as a kitchen maid at Whittingham Hospital, which she started in 1927.

“It was there she met her future husband Arthur Lunn in 1929, who was training to be a psychiatric nurse and was originally from Shropshire.

“Lillian and Arthur married on 18th October, 1934, at Ribbleton Methodist Church. “They went on have four children, Anne in 1938, Frank in 1942 and twins Doreen and Dorothy in 1944. She also has six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

“She lived at number four Alston Street, Preston, until 1951, and then moved to 30 Moorside Avenue, Ribbleton, until 1989. She now lives at the Knowle Rest Home in Ashton.

“It is great achievement to have lived this long; we are proud of her.”

l Do you know anyone who has reached a more advanced age than Lilian? Email rosie.swarbrick@jpress.co.uk.