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  • Durham OnAir

Believe housing’s 100th birthday gift is customer’s cup of tea

A WOMAN who has lived in the same village since she was a baby is celebrating turning

100 – and puts her longevity down to hard work, close family and good neighbours.

Mary Eales lives in Leeholme, near Bishop Auckland, in a home managed by County Durham based housing association believe housing.

Today (Monday, 30 May) is Mary’s 100 th birthday and last week the Neighbourhoods Team

at believe housing helped her to get the celebrations off to an early start.

Neighbourhoods Team Leader Carolyn Handley and Neighbourhood Officer Natasha

Meite-Mekatoa visited Mary to wish her a happy birthday and to deliver a card and a

Ringtons hamper full of goodies – which turned out to be the perfect gift as she’s a loyal

Ringtons customer.

Mary and her late husband, Thomas, married at St Joseph’s RC Church in Coundon and

had three children.

Thomas was a miner at Leasingthorne Colliery and Mary worked in the pit canteen and did

domestic work.

The couple enjoyed dancing in local halls and clubs and Mary also had a keen interest in

indoor bowls.

She said: “A woman in those days did everything, I think hard work has kept me fit.

“I’ve lived around here since I was carried down the street at a fortnight old, I’ve got really

good neighbours.”

Mary’s daughter, Anne Scarlett, visits her every day.

Anne, from Spennymoor, said: “I’m very proud of her. She’s a strong woman and I think

she looks marvellous for her age.”

Mary also had two sons, who have sadly passed away.

John was a well-known boxer for Shildon BR who represented England nine times and

Stephen was a long-distance driver who always made time for his mother when he was


Carolyn Handley, Neighbourhoods Team Leader at believe housing, said: “We offer lots of

support for our customers through the tough times, so it is lovely to be able to celebrate

the good times with them too.

“Mary is an incredible woman and everyone at believe housing wishes her a very happy

100 th birthday.”


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