THERE were socially distanced celebrations yesterday when a born and bred Coventarian became a centenarian, receiving the customary card and telegram from The Queen.
Nellie Haughton received six guests and had plenty ‘window visits’ from other family and friends.
Nellie came from a family of nine and is the only one left.
She grew up in Red Lane and attended Red Lane School, undertaking several jobs after leaving, including at London Laundry, Sketchley dry cleaners and ran a fruit and veg the Mellors fruit and veg shop in the aptly named Blackberry Lane.
She remembers everything being delivered by horses, including fresh milk which her mum used to tell her off about as she tried to steal the odd bottle.
Other fond memories include her making up games and being able to play out on the street.
Her brother worked in the Standard Triumph factory on Tile Hill Lane and was the first person to buy a car from there.
Her other brother Frank worked at the Drake Foundry and later moved to the Herbert’s cross-roads.
Nellie lived through the Second World War, rationing and the Coventry Blitz.
She married her Edwin at St Mark’s Church on November 5, 1949.
He fought in the war and then worked at Massey Ferguson’s for the rest of his life.
The pair went on to have two daughters – Maureen and Irene – and Nellie has 39 grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.
Nellie said her secret to reaching her marvellous milestone was drinking plenty of water everyday.
Her proud granddaughter Emma Donovan said: “I’m so happy she has reached her 100th birthday – growing up I’d go to my grandma’s every Friday straight after school with my nan for dinner.
“She loved her telly and would have Countdown on then the Six O’clock News, followed by The Weakest Link.
“My grandma, nan and auntie Rene (grandma’s sister) would always take me out to Coventry town where we would have some food in the old BHS then head to Woolworths and I would always get a little pic’n’mix from there.
“We all adore my grandma, she really is the queen of our family.
“We’re so proud of her and love her so much.
“She’s lived a very long and great life!
“Happy 100th birthday grandma!”