A resident at Connaught Court, in York, has celebrated her 100th birthday.
Barbara Knowles enjoyed a celebration complete with a homemade cake and bubbly champagne at the Home with fellow residents. In spite of the pandemic, staff were determined to ensure that she had a memorable birthday, so they safely arranged a small gathering.
Barbara was born on 17th February 1921 in Hemsworth, near Pontefract, where she lived with her parents and sister, Margaret. Her childhood was a happy one filled with adventures. Barbara liked discovering nature and the landscapes around the coast of West Yorkshire.
Barbara attended the local grammar school where she met her first husband Don, a navigator in the RAF, and they married in 1942 .Sadly, Don was reported missing, when their daughter Kay, was only six months old. Barbara moved to York with her family and started working as assistant cashier at ‘Pearsons and Driver’, then moved onto admissions at York University.
Later, Barbara met Ernest and enjoyed many years of companionship. She became a member of York Yacht Club, and remembers many happy journeys sailing through Lincoln, down to Cambridge.
After moving to Bishopthorpe, Ernest sadly died, and Barbara completed her years at the developing university, retiring, only to begin new travels. She kept active in the community, supporting the British Legion, The National Trust, the English Speaking Union, and other charities.
Barbara has two grandsons and four great grandchildren. She met her husband to be, Michael Knowles, at a dinner party and they married in 1994. They travelled frequently, enjoying wonderful trips around the world.
Barbara was one of the first residents to receive the Covid-19 vaccination at Connaught Court. She says:
It’s a good thing. We all need it. I can’t wait to get together with my family and perhaps have a run out to the Dales, or look around York.
Sharing her secret to a long life, Barbara says:
I’ve kept active, kept my brain going and enjoyed a great life; eating, drinking, and even a pale sherry! I always said I was ‘disgustingly healthy’!
Fran Tagg, Activities Coordinator at Connaught Court, said:
It was an honour to celebrate Barbara’s 100th birthday at our Home. She’s a remarkable lady!