Gladys celebrates 110 years – her secret, a daily cappuccino and a biscuit

Shropshire resident Gladys Cloke has celebrated turning 110 with a top-notch afternoon tea party.

Gladys Cloke receives a birthday hug from fellow resident and friend Joan Sivill on her 110th birthday
Gladys Cloke receives a birthday hug from fellow resident and friend Joan Sivill on her 110th birthday

To mark the magnificent occasion, she was treated with gifts, flowers, cake and tea served in fine china teacups by staff working at Chillcott Gardens sheltered complex in Madeley, Telford, where she has lived for the past 19 years.

Thought to be the oldest person in Shropshire, Gladys has lived through two world wars, seen three kings and one queen on the throne and has now also witnessed one of the biggest global pandemics ever known.

Her secret to a long life – simple, a daily cappuccino at 11am and a digestive biscuit.

Coverage Care Services manager Carol McPherson, who looks after Chillcott Gardens, said Gladys had been treated to a wonderful day by care staff.

“Gladys is such a special lady and everyone at Chillcott is very fond of her, so we wanted to make sure she had the most spectacular day,” she said.

Coverage Care Services staff treat Gladys Cloke to a traditional tea party to celebrate her 110th birthday

“Staff organised flowers and a traditional afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones, cakes, the full works really. We got out the china teacups and sat and reminisced for hours.

“Unfortunately, Gladys’s close family were unable to visit her this year due to them having to isolate because of Covid. They were all very upset but we made sure she got to speak to them and that Gladys still had a really special day.

“She received lots of cards and gifts, and Gladys was treated like a queen for the day, it was really wonderful.”

Gladys Cloke pictured with Chillcott Gardens manager Carol McPherson and team leader Michelle Felton

Gladys, who moved to Shropshire from Kent in the year 2000, worked in a munitions factory during the Second World War and spent time in domestic service.

She was married to John for 53 years before his death in 1990 at the age of 75.

They met in a shoe factory just before the outbreak of the war.

After the war Gladys left work to focus on bringing up their son, Roy.

Today, she has two grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Speaking ahead of her birthday, Gladys said she was excited about celebrating with a traditional afternoon tea party.

It is thought Gladys is the oldest living person in Shropshire. The oldest living Briton is Lilian Priest from Swanage in Dorset, who is 111.

Coverage Care Services is Shropshire’s largest independent not-for-profit care provider, operating 12 homes across the county.

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