The eventful life Leah - Alnwick woman looks back on century of change as she celebrates 100th birthday

Alnwick resident Leah Saunders has reached the milestone of being 100-years-old.

Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 11:46 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 8:58 pm
Leah Saunders receives her telegram from the Queen on her 100th birthday.

Leah, of Dispensary Street, celebrated her century on October 12 with family, friends and neighbours.

Born and bred in the town, Leah Burnett lived in Clayport Street, Shields Yard, as a child with her mother and four sisters; Polly, Alice, Meggie-anne and Doll. She also had a brother, Eliza, who died when he was 16.

At 14 she started working for Mr and Mrs Robertson who owned the Turks Head pub and bakery . She had various tasks there; taking their children to school, working in the bakery and even working behind the bar although not old enough.

Alnwick resident Leah Saunders with her family on her 100th birthday.

She then went to sign up for the Territorial Army with her sister Doll and the Second World War was declared a few days later. She was dispatched to Filey, Ilkley Moor and Brussels where she catered and served the officers over a three year period.

She was then discharged, came home for a week then signed back up for a further three years. She said that she enjoyed her life in the army, she got leave and a wage.At 27, she met her future husband Alf Saunders at the Black Bull pub in Alnwick. They fell in love and decided to marry in the summer of 1947 and were organising their wedding when a devastating blow hit Leah with the death of her mother. A year later Leah and Alf had their first daughter, Pauline, and went on to have two other children, Joy and Peter. They then moved into Dispensary Street.Throughout middle age Leah worked as a caretaker at the Borough School and cleaned for the nuns in Bailifgate. She enjoyed a game of bingo at the corn exchange and meeting up with her sisters on a Saturday afternoon at the Blue Bell, although she was teetotal.

Alf worked as a miner at Shilbottle pit and soon after retirement had a severe stroke. Leah cared for him at home for many years until he died in 1988.

Leah lives with her eldest daughter Pauline and her partner David where she enjoyed celebrating her 100th birthday in her own home, the heart of the family.

Leah Saunders (Burnett).