Happy 100th birthday to a true character

Gladys Murdy on her 100th birthday.
Gladys Murdy on her 100th birthday.
Share this article

She is known for her wicked sense of humour and Gladys Murdy did not disappoint at her 100th birthday party.

During last Friday’s celebration at Alnwick’s Summerhill Retirement Home, this much-loved centenarian was presented with her telegram from the Queen.

Gladys Murdy celebrates her 100th birthday with guests Amble Mayor Craig Weir and local councillor Jeff Watson.'Picture by James Willoughby

Gladys Murdy celebrates her 100th birthday with guests Amble Mayor Craig Weir and local councillor Jeff Watson.'Picture by James Willoughby

As quick as a flash, witty Miss Murdy remarked: “She’s got it wrong. I’m not 100, I’m 98!”

Her response sparked much laughter from the many people who were packed into the room for the special occasion.

And for those who know and love her, it typified a woman who has been described as a true character with a wonderful, dry sense of humour. Only Miss Murdy could try to correct the Queen!

But with telegram placed on a table beside her, and with drink in hand and a big 100th birthday badge pinned to her top, Miss Murdy said her birthday had been truly special.

Sitting on the sofa with balloons around her, she said: “It has been a wonderful celebration. It has been very good.”

When asked what her secret was to a long life, she said with a smile: “By keeping people in order. I have spent my life doing that.”

She’s not wrong. Miss Murdy was the former clerk of Amble Town Council and Warkworth Parish Council, among others.

To help her celebrate the birthday milestone, and to thank her for her past efforts, Warkworth Parish Council bought her a large bouquet of flowers. Meanwhile, Amble Town Council gave her a framed picture of Prospect Place, as well as the book In Memory of the Fallen, which is about Amble in the early 1900s and its people who fought for their country.

Long-standing Amble councillor Robert Arckless said: “I learnt a lot from her. When she said ‘my council’, she meant it. She gave me a lot of encouragement in my early years. She is a great character and really cared about Amble. She has a wonderful, dry sense of humour.”

Miss Murdy is a former Warkworth resident. She was a commissioner for the Cubs and Scouts and was a managing clerk at former Amble solicitors Carse and Goodger, working for Robert Hogg. At her party, Mr Hogg’s son Tommy spoke fondly of Miss Murdy. He said: “She has been in our life in one way or another over the years. She is a true character and what she didn’t know about Amble wasn’t worth knowing.”

Summerhill care manager Bev Hope wished Miss Murdy a happy birthday and said: “She is a character. She is witty and has a wicked sense of humour.”

The home proudly displayed balloons outside to mark Miss Murdy’s special day and there was also a party with residents last Thursday.