Melbourn's Mary receives 200 cards in celebration of centenary

Mary Longbottom celebrated her 100th birthday in Melbourn, along with her granddaughter and staff

Mary Longbottom celebrated her 100th birthday in Melbourn, along with her granddaughter (left) and staff - Credit: Moorlands Court

A woman living in Melbourn received more than 200 cards from the community for her 100th birthday. 

Mary Longbottom - who lives in her own flat in Moorlands Court, a purpose-built housing with care scheme - celebrated her birthday milestone on Sunday, March 14.

Mary Longbottom received over 200 cards for her 100th birthday

Mary Longbottom received over 200 cards for her 100th birthday - Credit: Moorlands Court

Among the many birthday wishes she received were cards from the pupils of King James Academy, the children at Little Hands Nursery in Melbourn and Roman Way First School in Royston - and the local postman.

The Moorlands Court kitchen staff baked cakes and Mary was visited by her granddaughter, who she hadn't seen since her 99th birthday last year.

Mary Longbottom celebrated her 100th birthday at Moorlands Court in Melbourn

Mary Longbottom celebrated her 100th birthday at Moorlands Court in Melbourn - Credit: Moorlands Court

Mary was born Mary Fallas in 1921 in Selby, Yorkshire. She was christened in Selby Abbey where her parents Nellie and Robbie were married.


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At the age of 14, Mary left school and started work as a weaver near Heckmondwike in Yorkshire, lodging with family and friends until her parents moved there.

At the outbreak of the Second World War she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service as a teleprinter operator. In 1943 she married Arthur Longbottom, who was serving in the Coldstream Guards, and their daughter Margaret was born a year later. 

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After the war Arthur joined the prison service and the family moved to Wakefield, where they had two more children - Barry in 1947 and Keith in 1951.

The family moved to the Isle of Wight, back to Yorkshire, then to Norfolk, and Mary attended evening classes in pottery, volunteered at a special needs school and learned how to make bobbin lace.

Mary Longbottom celebrated her 100th birthday at Moorlands Court in Melbourn

Mary Longbottom celebrated her 100th birthday at Moorlands Court in Melbourn - Credit: Moorlands Court

Sadly Mary was widowed in 1986, and moved to Harston in South Cambs to live with her son Barry and his wife Shirley. Here she made friends at a quilting group and through her interest in gardening.

During this time she visited her daughter and her family on the Isle of Wight, and also her son Keith and his family in Canada.

In 2017 Mary began to suffer from dementia, and her failing strength meant she could no longer manage in a two-storey house, so she moved to Moorlands Court where she could receive the additional help and care that she needs.

Her son Barry thanked all the staff at Moorlands Court for their continuing care.

Mary Longbottom received a letter from the Queen for her 100th birthday

Mary Longbottom received a letter from the Queen for her 100th birthday - Credit: Moorlands Court


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