Three centenarians at Connaught Court, in York, have celebrated their milestone birthdays. With Ron Shelley turning 101 years old, Constance Ireland at 102 years old, and Noreen McCullough at 104 years old.
All three residents enjoyed a celebration with a homemade cake, a bottle of sherry and gifts from their fellow residents and staff at the Home.
Ron Shelley, who is a World War Two veteran, fulfilled a life-long ambition in 2021 when he flew in a hot air balloon over Yorkshire.
During the Second World War, Ron was a wireless operator. He was sent to France six days after D-Day in 1944, aged just 22. He was involved in sending out false missives to “confound and confuse” the enemy.
Ron met and married the love of his life, Thelma and they had two sons. They lived in Fulford and for a while they ran the Masons Arms public house on Fishergate in York. Sadly, Thelma passed away in 2018 after 64 years of “wonderful marriage”. Ron now has five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
He has enjoyed a life full of travel and adventure with army postings all over the world. He continued his passion for radio as an amateur radio enthusiast.
Constance was born on September 1921 in Luton. At 14 years old, Constance left school to become an apprentice in ladies fashion, working in a family run department store in Luton. She worked in the industry until she was in her 60’s.
Constance met her husband Antony when she was called up into the Auxiliary Territorial Service during WW2. They settled in Hull and had two children, before moving to Plymouth in 1972. In June 2017, Constance sadly lost Antony, just before their 69th wedding anniversary.
Music has always been a very big part of life’s pleasures for Constance. As a child she started singing, and it was through music that she met her husband. Constance continued singing throughout her life, which she feels has been good for her overall health and fitness. This includes participating in large choirs, madrigal groups, solo and festival works.
Her secret to having a long and happy life? She said:
It must be the music that keeps me going! I’ve got to keep up with my family, and keep going!
Noreen was born in Nottinghamshire, on September 1919. She trained in secretarial and shorthand, but at the age of 20 when WW2 broke out, she was recruited by the Auxiliary Territorial Service, which took her around the country.
Following the end of the war, she took employment at the Nottinghamshire Police in administration, and was the only female staff member in her office.
She met and married her beloved husband ‘Mac’, who was the Chief Superintendent in 1948, and gave birth to a son called John in 1950. She lived in Ravenshead, until she moved to York in 2012.
Today Noreen has one grandson, and likes to keep active. She enjoys reading and writing, socialising with her friends, and a glass of sherry.
Celebrating her 104th birthday, she says:
I couldn’t ever stop, always on the go! My lovely garden kept me going. I had a wonderful husband and a very happy marriage. I’ve kept well, and busy, and have so many happy memories.
Fran Tagg, Activities Coordinator at Connaught Court, said:
All three residents are wonderful people, full of energy. It was an honour to celebrate their special birthdays at our Home.
[Summary: Three centenarians at Connaught Court, in York, have celebrated their milestone birthdays.]