Elizabeth Laidlaw turns 105

Elizabeth Laidlaw 'takes life as it comes', says her niece
Elizabeth Laidlaw 'takes life as it comes', says her niece
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Elizabeth Laidlaw, who was born before the outbreak of the First World War, is due to celebrate her 105th birthday later this week.

She will celebrate the milestone with a party at the Camilla House Care Home which will include a birthday cake, a Scottish piper and a harpist.

Last year, her fellow residents made her their own “Happy Birthday” cards because they couldn’t find any which properly matched her age.

There was also a gigantic balloon, an entertainer and a party with a cake – although the home stopped short of the 100-plus candles required amid concerns they could pose a fire hazard.

Asked about the secret of her long life, niece Hannah Lafferty, of Dunfermline, said: “She takes life as it comes and doesn’t stress out about it. She is keeping very well but gets a bit forgetful at times.”

Miss Laidlaw, who will turn 105 on Thursday, grew up at Hope Park Terrace, off Clerk Street, with parents Hannah and Andrew Laidlaw, and siblings Agnes, Hannah, Sylvia, Janet and Sonny.

On leaving school she worked for Crawfords the Bakers on the Bridges, and then went to Baird the Bootmaker near Hunter Square, where she worked for several years.

In her late 40s she left the job to care for her parents, with whom she still lived, by now in Livingstone Place.

After the death of her mother, she worked as a cleaner at various private houses, a job she continued to enjoy until she retired in her 80s.

She moved about nine years ago to the Grange-based care home, where she is said to have been very happy.

Mrs Lafferty said her aunt had been devoted to her family throughout her life.

She added: “She’s a very quiet lady and mostly looked after family and wasn’t into going out partying, but would meet up with family.

“All the girls would meet together on Saturday afternoons and have a chat and a coffee.”

Molly Smith, activities co-ordinator at the home, said: “She’s a real character – she likes singing and is always chatting away to people.

“She’s great company and loves sitting in the lounge.

“We did a nostalgia quiz recently and she was chuckling away at that.

“She’s also very independent and although her relatives live further afield she’s very much part of the family here.”

She is also the care home’s most senior resident, and in fact the only one over 100.

The care home’s deputy manager, Sarah Hambly, described her as “an amazing little lady”.

Ms Hambly said many of the other residents are amazed by her energy, and described her as “very sprightly for her age”.

“She’s very much has her own mind and is still very much in control of what she wants to happen,” she said.