100th birthday: Bo'ness street party marks Janet Houston's special day
A day of celebrations marked the 100th birthday of Janet Houston with neighbours hosting a street party in her honour.
Janet, also known as Jenny, lives in Deansgate Gardens, Bo’ness with daughter Margaret Kelly.
Family, friends and neighbours marked yesterday’s special occasion with bunting, music, gifts and good wishes for the birthday lady. And of course, there was a card from HM The Queen for the new centenarian.
Born Janet Stewart Mitchell in Johnstone, Renfrewshire on July 7, 1922, her initial links with the town came from her grandmother Janet Stewart who lived in Bo’ness.
She was one of two daughters and three sons born to Davie and Margaret Mitchell with her father being the town’s master butcher and working for the local Co-op.
When Janet left school she worked in Stoddard’s carpet factory in Elderslie and during the Second World War was a clippie on the Glasgow buses which daughter Margaret said gave her lots of stories to tell.
A chance meeting outside the picture house in Johnstone saw her meet future husband James Houston. The pair had both been stood up by their intended companions but got chatting and decided to go to the cinema together. And, as they say, the rest is history as the courtship led to the couple marrying in 1946.
But not for them the usual start to married life as at that time James was in the British Army stationed in Bermuda and they pair spent an idyllic three years on the island in the North Atlantic.
When they returned to Scotland they lived in a cottage on the Houston family estate and that was where daughter Margaret was born.
Following her husband’s death in 1991, Janet moved to Bo’ness to be closer to Margaret, her husband Bill and their three sons, living in Stewart Avenue for many years.
Sadly Bill died in 2000 and 13 years ago Janet joined Margaret in Deansgate Gardens.
Margaret, who runs the craft studio in the town, said: “I was in hospital for the first 14 years of my life and mum looked after me so now it’s my turn to look after her.”
She added that family were very important to Janet and she liked nothing better than having her three grandsons and eight great-grandchildren – three boys and five girls – around her.
"Mum always said that she wanted granddaughters but she just had to wait another generation to get five great-granddaughters,” added Margaret.
Janet says that she keeps her mind active by incessantly doing puzzle books.
"She also likes to read and does a bit of knitting,” said her daughter. “Mum also loves watching all the TV game shows and she’s very fond of old time music. We’ve got the Cockleroy ceilidh band from Linlithgow playing at the street party which I’m sure she will love.
"The sun is shining and I just knew that it would for her birthday which is wonderful.
"The doctors have also told me that her long life is down to good care which is something that I’ve always been happy to do. She did it for me for a very long time.”