Burnley Royalist celebrates her 103rd birthday

party time: Mrs Brookes celebrates her 103rd birthday with family, friends and Lower Ridge staff at her party
party time: Mrs Brookes celebrates her 103rd birthday with family, friends and Lower Ridge staff at her party

STAUNCH Royalist Mrs Sybil Brookes had a special greeting from Buckingham Palace in time for her 103rd birthday.

Mrs Brookes, who never goes a day without wearing her high heels, was sent best wishes for her special day on behalf of the Queen by her Lady-in-Waiting.

She had been absolutely thrilled when the Queen and Prince Philip’s car slowed to a virtual standstill to acknowledge Mrs Brookes and fellow resident of Lower Ridge care home in Belvedere Road when they came to Burnley in May, so home manager Helen Dornan let the Palace know about Mrs Brookes’s birthday celebrations.

Mrs Brookes insisted on waiting to see the Queen during the Jubilee visit, saying it was possibly the last time she would be able to see the monarch, and she dressed in her fur coat for the occasion.

Known for her lively wit, and her lively mind, Mrs Brookes was heavily involved in plans for her party, which featured entertainer Jack Burns. She loves being visited by family and friends, and one of her most welcome guests at the party was Mr David Hanns, a family friend for many years she got to know through her late son, Kenneth.

Mrs Brookes lived in Brownhill Avenue before moving in with her son in Accrington Road and had respite care at Lower Ridge. She moved to the home few years ago, after he died.

Born in Bradford, Mrs Brookes was educated at Burnley Wood School and left at 16 to join the Burnley Express, where she later became clerk to the editor, Harold Penrose.

She and her late husband, Bob, were fond of ballroom dancing and enjoyed holidays, mainly to Blackpool, but they also went much further afield.

An avid motorist, she loved being behind the wheel of a car, and she still likes to get out and about as often as she can.