Phyllis celebrates 105th birthday with family and friends

A Shropshire woman who brought up her brothers and sisters from the age of just 13 has celebrated her 105th birthday.

Phyllis Rogers who turned 105 on Monday
Phyllis Rogers who turned 105 on Monday

Phyllis Rogers grew up in a cottage near Oswestry with no running water or electricity and each Saturday would have to take a donkey down from the hill where her family lived to the coal wharf for two baskets of coal.

She celebrated her birthday quietly on Monday, reminiscing with family and friends at the Brook House care home at Morda.

Mrs Rogers was born in a cottage on Llynclys Common with five brothers and two sisters.

Her granddaughter Curly Rogers said: "Her mother died when she was just 13 years old and, with her father working in the nearby quarry, she had to bring up her younger brothers and sisters and cook and clean the house.

"There was no water and no electric at home and the brothers, who all worked at the quarry, used to come home each day with two buckets of water each.

"Every Saturday morning she was sent down the hill to the coal wharf to bring back two baskets of coal before doing cleaning and other jobs around the village. She would give her wages to her Dad who would give her back a couple of pennies."

Mrs Rogers said herself that the secret to long life was hard work.

"There were none of this lazing about, Dad wouldn't let us stay in bed. No alcohol either - all it does is cause heartache and trouble," she said.

When she was 19, Mrs Rogers married her husband, Ed, and the couple had three children, a daughter, Doreen and two sons, John, known as Curly, and Richard.

She has eight grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren.

"She was a fantastic cook and made the best coffee and walnut cake in the world as well as hand-made ginger beer using raw ginger in muslin which she kept turning," Curly said.

"When we were little she would take us on long walks. She is still very sharp and her memory is great, but she is very weak at the moment."

To mark her birthday Mrs Rogers had a letter from the Queen.

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