A FORMER maths teacher has chalked-up a milestone figure ­– her 100th birthday!

And passionate cricket fan Kathleen Auty celebrated her century by enjoying a special tea with fellow residents at Townend Close care home, Cross Hills.

A planned party had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus situation, but she received a card from the Queen and during the tea cut a special birthday cake.

Kathleen was born in Dewsbury but moved with her family to North Yorkshire as a six-year-old, when her father Edgar became headteacher at Kildwick Church School.

When she was ten, Kathleen won a county minor scholarship to Skipton Girls’ High School. And in 1937 she earned a county major scholarship, which resulted in the whole school being awarded a day’s holiday!

The following year, she gained a place at Girton College, Cambridge, where she studied mathematics.

In her first year at Girton she met Christopher Robin Milne – son of Winnie the Pooh author AA Milne – who was studying mathematics at Trinity College.

Both were members of the Archimedeans – the Cambridge University Mathematical Society.

Kathleen continued with her studies through the early years of the Second World War.

After obtaining a BA degree in 1941, she spent a year at Cambridge Training College for Women Teachers – which later became Hughes Hall.

Ideally for Kathleen, it was situated next to the University of Cambridge cricket ground!

Kathleen took-up her first teaching role in 1942, at St Leonard’s School in St Andrew’s, Fife, a post she loved.

She moved back to England after the war and taught mathematics at Barnsley Girls’ High School, before becoming head of the maths department at the prestigious Fairfield High School for Girls in Droylsden, Manchester. The Auty Prize for Mathematics is still awarded to outstanding maths students at the school.

Following the death of her father in 1957, Kathleen made regular weekend visits to Yorkshire to see her mother. The next year they moved to Boundary Avenue in Sutton, when Kathleen took-up a job as head of mathematics at Skipton Girls’ High School.

She retired in 1978.

Kathleen is a member of St Thomas’ Church in Sutton, whose former vicar – the Rev Canon Michael Cowgill – remains a good friend.

“There will be many girls in the Skipton area who will remember Miss Auty and the excellence of her teaching – and some former pupils still keep in touch with her,” he said.

“Kathleen has been a key worker for the Church over many years.

“In 1988 she became a licensed reader in the Church of England, a role from which she retired in 2005, aged 85. And Kathleen still maintains a keen interest in mission societies, especially the Bible Society.”

Kathleen has also always had a passion for the outdoors.

She was a keen walker, spending many holidays walking with friends in Switzerland and Scotland in particular.

She has climbed Ben Nevis and Snowdon and many of the Lake District peaks, and also made a memorable trip to the Holy Land and Jerusalem.

Her love of cricket has never wavered – she was a member of Yorkshire County Cricket Club for many years and still closely follows the club’s fortunes.

Kathleen – who moved into Townend Close three years ago – also enjoys watching cricket and other sports on television, as well as doing crosswords and puzzles generally.

Mr Cowgill adds: “She left Boundary Avenue in 2017 and now enjoys the company of others at Townend Close and the support and care provided by the staff.”