Guests gather to honour Louie on 100th birthday

Keighley News: Louie Umpleby with her card from the Her Majesty the Queen Louie Umpleby with her card from the Her Majesty the Queen

A Keighley-born woman celebrated her 100th birthday with a party attended by 100 guests.

Louie Umpleby, who now lives in Wilsden, enjoyed a get-together with family and friends at the Three Acres, in Cross Roads. Some of the guests had travelled from as far afield as County Durham and the Midlands.

Mrs Umpleby, who was born Louie Lambert in Highfield in 1914, said: “It was a lovely party, everyone who spoke to me said they’d thoroughly enjoyed it.

“Having a 100th birthday does feel a bit different! Even before my actual birthday I had people wishing me well and giving me presents.”

She has had a varied career, beginning at a dairy shop in Keighley, then later working for Bottomley’s sweet factory, the National Switch Factory and Busbys department store.

She also did private dress making, ran a corner shop in Silsden and worked as a dinner lady. She did a stint as a merchandiser for Sunblest Bread, and continued working until she was 70.

Mrs Umpleby’s father fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the First World War. She said one of her earliest memories was of visiting him in hospital, where he was being treated for shell shock.

While working at Bottomley’s she met her future husband, William Umpleby, and the pair were married in 1935. Mr Umpleby died in 1956. The couple had two daughters – Gloria and Susan.

Explaining her mum’s longevity, Susan said: “The secret is that she has always been independent and done everything for herself.”

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