Former Women's Auxiliary Air Force corporal from Whitley Bay celebrates her 100th birthday
and live on Freeview channel 276
Vera Bolam (nee McVay) from Whitley Bay puts the secret to a long, happy life down to keeping active and busy.
She is celebrating her birthday with a series of foodie-themed events, starting with a trip on the Northern Belle luxury train to Scotland.
She had an 18-person afternoon tea celebration at Tynemouth 61 last weekend, and is now off to York for dinner with family at The Ivy.
Vera lives with her son Ron and daughter Kim.
She said: “Very sadly my husband died in 1970 aged just 45 so I had to go back to work to support the family, firstly in a clerical capacity then as a buyer for Great Universal Stores, before I retired in 1984.
“I have had a very happy, active life working and looking after my family, and that is what has kept me young at heart and healthy.”
Vera joined the WAAF in 1941 and served overseas until 1944. After the war she worked as a sales analysis clerk at McAdam’s Drapery where she met her husband, Ron, who she married in 1948.
She said: “I loved my time overseas. It was very enjoyable and educational, and I was reluctant to return to the UK when the war ended.”
Tynemouth 61 owner Stephen Minns said: “She is an amazing lady, a real character, and she entertained us all with stories about her life, including performing with Goerge Formby at the Empire Theatre, Newcastle when she was at the Dancing School of Stage in her youth.
“We host lots of events at Tynemouth 61, but this is the first 100th Birthday for us.”