Sweet joy for ‘happy and active’ Dorothy on 104th birthday

One of the south’s oldest people has celebrated her 104th birthday with family and friends and says she’s looking forward to another big cake next year.
Dorothy Parker was naturally the centre of attention as well-wishers gathered for a party at her care home, Brook View in West Moors, Dorset.

They included daughter Julie and son William, and respective families, and best friend Jill, another regular visitor.

Born in 1920 and brought up in Northampton with three brothers and three sisters, Dorothy worked in a shoe factory before the Second World War.

Reflecting on her most enduring memories of youth, the much-loved grandmother said: “I remember the war and having to ration sugar. I like sugar! Aside from that, my fondest memories are all about watching my children grow up.”

Asked how it feels to be 104, Dorothy said: “I still feel 90, I don’t know where that time’s gone but I am looking forward to having a big cake for my 105th next year.”

Dorothy also shared her secret of longevity: “Be happy and have a cup of tea.”

Son-in-law Keith Adams, Julie’s husband, explained how, four years ago, Dorothy had to celebrate her 100th birthday on Zoom as it fell during lockdown. More than 60 family and friends joined her online at the time.

Thanking the team at Brook View for their support and care in looking after Dorothy and staging her 104th, Keith said: “It was lovely to have this party for her. We loved seeing her enjoy it so much.”

As well as afternoon tea with a strawberry and vanilla sponge cake baked by Brook View Chef Jack Wood, the birthday fun featured entertainment from singer Bee Chumbley.

She performed a series of Dorothy’s favourites including White Cliffs of Dover, Thank You for the Music and Singing in the Rain, prompting party guests to dance.

Companionship Team Leader Lauren Parrett said: “Dorothy is an active lady who enjoys armchair exercise, quizzes, going to the seaside on minibus trips and spending time with her family. On a sunny day she loves sitting by our garden pond with a cup of tea and a slice of cake.”

Fellow Brook View residents at the celebration included Dorothy’s friend Peggy Jenkins who was marking her 91st birthday on the same day.

Chef Jack baked a lemon cake for Peggy and joined colleagues to sing a hearty ‘Happy Birthday’ to both ladies.