Bubbly flows on Dorothy’s 105th

Cheers: Dorothy raises a glass of champagne
Cheers: Dorothy raises a glass of champagne
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One of Lancashire’s oldest women has celebrated her 105th birthday.

Dorothy Kinder, a great-grandmother of seven, shared champagne at a family party at Bushell House in Goosnargh on Monday.

Born in the year Ernest Shackleton’s expedition found the magnetic South Pole, and when the old age pension was brought in, Mrs Kinder has lived through two world wars, votes being given to women, five monarchs and 19 different Prime Ministers.

Her son Ross, 69, said: “It’s quite amazing all the change she’s seen in her lifetime. She can remember people with horses and traps.”

He added: “She’s still active and likes to go for drives in the country, where we’ll stop and have a cup of tea.

“She’s very bloody-minded and determined. Four years ago she had a bad fall and had to have brain surgery. Nobody knew if she’d survive, but she did, even though she was in hospital for a long time. She’s as tough as old boots.”

Mrs Kinder’s fall brought an end to her jet-setting lifestyle of recent years.

Up until her 100th birthday she enjoyed hopping on planes on her own to far-flung destinations such as Las Vegas, New York and Bermuda.

Such plane travel was unthinkable at the time of her birth, in the front room of 27 Dundee Lane, Ramsbottom.

She moved to Lightfoot Lane, Fulwood, when she was 16 after her father, who worked for the Post Office, was promoted.

She met her husband Cyril on a bus and they married when she was 25.

Ross, from Lostock Hall, added: “She worked in the pricing bureau of Lancashire Insurance in West Cliff, Preston, but when she got married she had to give up. In those days, nobody employed married women.”

She went on to have three children - Sheilagh, Ross and Gillian - but the family faced tough times when Cyril was posted abroad with the Army for four years during the Second World War, but later they went on to set up a Save The Children after-school club in Walker Street, Preston, and cubs and scout groups in Broughton, where they lived.

Mrs Kinder lived independently in Penwortham Hall Gardens until her fall. She took up painting in her 80s and only gave up driving at the age of 86.

Dorothy, who can remember a neighbour telling her mum about the Titanic sinking in 1912, said there wasn’t a particular key to her long life.

She said: “There’s no secret to a long life other than moderation in everything.”

Ross added: “We hope that she’s passed on the longevity gene to the rest of us, but she may just see me out!”