Great-great gran celebrates 100th

Nancy Patterson celebrates her centenary with family and friends. Picture: comp
Nancy Patterson celebrates her centenary with family and friends. Picture: comp
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A great-great-grandmother marked her centenary in style this year – by having multiple parties.

Nancy Patterson turned 100 in June and celebrated with family and friends throughout the month.

The mother-of-five was born in Gardener’s Close, Cockenzie, on June 26, 1914, the last of a large family of 11 children.

She has remained in the Cockenzie and Port Seton area all her life, becoming a fount for all sorts of local knowledge.

And she insists she has never had any desire to move, having worked and brought up her family in the area.

Mrs Patterson attended Cockenzie Primary School and worked as a nanny to the children of a bank manager after leaving school.

As a youngster she was a keen Highland dancer, winning hundreds of medals before donating them all to other championship competitions in an act of generosity.

She met her husband, Robert, at a local dance and the two were married in Tranent in 1935.

Robert worked as a painter and decorator and the two soon settled down to life in Cockenzie, giving birth to their first daughter, Betty, a couple of years later.

They went on to have six more daughters, but sadly lost two when they were young. Robert passed away at the age of 64.

In total, Mrs Patterson has 13 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren – with all her family now living within five miles of her.

But while her youthful passion was to hit the dancefloor, these days Mrs Patterson is more likely to be found knitting than doing the Highland fling.

In June she celebrated with family and friends at the John Bellany Day Centre at The Promenade in Port Seton in just one of four birthday bashes.

Mrs Patterson received a telegram from the Queen during the party, hand-delivered by East Lothian Council’s Lord-Lieutenant Deputy Marlene Love.

She also received congratulations from former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith and East Lothian Council.

And a separate family party held later in the month saw five generations of Pattersons gathered together to celebrate the milestone.

Her daughter Roberta, 74, said: “She’s a lovely lady and has all her wits about her. Her family round about her has kept her going – she’s very independent. We take her meals and she heats them up.”

Nancy, meanwhile, credits her long life to her desire to keep supporting herself.

She said: “I stay in sheltered housing but I do my own cleaning, washing and ironing and cook for myself. I still get out and about and have always been determined to live an independent life. That is what has kept me going so long.”