A severe illness could not stop 101-year-old Betty from St Annes celebrating her Scottish-themed birthday

Betty Charnley celebrates her 101th birthday at The Royal Care Home in St Annes. .
Betty Charnley celebrates her 101th birthday at The Royal Care Home in St Annes. .

Great-great grandmother Betty Charnley has survived a severe blood infection to celebrate her 101st birthday with her five-generation family.

Great-great grandmother Betty Charnley has survived a severe blood infection to celebrate her 101st birthday with her five-generation family.

Betty Charnley  with manager Debbie Parker and head senior Francesca Dominey.

Betty Charnley with manager Debbie Parker and head senior Francesca Dominey.

Betty, who discharged from hospital three weeks ago after getting septicaemia and cellulitis, enjoyed a Scottish-themed party to mark her mother’s heritage at Royal Care Home, in York Road, St Annes. There was even a piper playing bagpipes to make Betty’s day extra special.

Members from all the generations were there, including Betty’s great-great grandchildren; Jessica, 12 and Anna, six.

Her son, Keith Charnley, said: “I never doubted my mum would reach 101 as she was still riding a bike in her 80s. She even made it through after getting septicaemia and cellulitis recently. After that, she got a urinary tract infection and doctors though that was the end, but she is made of sterner stuff. She surprised the whole medical team. We can’t believe it.

“She is feisty and very determined.”

Bagpiper Bob Wilson.

Bagpiper Bob Wilson.

Born in Liverpool in 1918, Betty enjoyed dancing and began her career as a seamstress. As the Second World War began, she became an ambulance driver where she met her husband to be, Alf and they went on to wed in 1944.

After the success of the war, Betty made the move from the city to St Annes where she became a teacher at Peter Pan nursery.

Betty has two sons, four grandchildren, five great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.

Keith added: “Mum was quite proud of being an ambulance driver during the war, as she drove for the F1 Division of the Liverpool Ambulance Service.

“She told me that she was given a new American ambulance and she took it out for the first time during the Blitz.

“There was a policeman in the middle of the road directing traffic and the back end of her ambulance struck him. She told him he should have moved out of the way, she was that direct.

“Mum was one of eight siblings and in her younger adult days she used to enjoy going on holiday to Anglesey with one of her sisters.

“She still has a surviving brother, Stuart and sister, Fay, who are younger than her.

“Mum enjoys her days at Royal Care Home, in St Annes, and she is a real people watcher. She loves being around people, especially children and also enjoys gardening.

“She had a great time at the party, which was Scottish-themed because her mum was born in Edinburgh. Even through mum was born in Liverpool, she kept her Scottish roots.”