It’s a 100 not out for Phyllis

Just Regional
Oct 7, 2015 2 mins read

Phyllis Sparks doesn’t do anything by halves. She worked until she was 70, drove until she was 94, and is still living independently at the wonderful age of 100.

The milestone birthday was celebrated with neighbours, friends and family, who Phyllis invited round for cake, and several of them were witness to the postman hand delivering the birthday message from The Queen to Phyllis in her armchair!

Born on September 24, 1915, Phyllis originally lived on Eade Road in the city, but moved with her mum to Hellesdon aged 43, when she started work for livestock auctioneer Irelands.

Working in the office looking after the books, Phyllis describes it as “interesting work” and she must have been a valued employee as they asked her to stay on beyond retirement.

“My mum died around that time,” explained Phyllis, who never married or had children. “So I was pleased to carry on working.”

Phyllis has two nieces: Beryl and Karen, and Karen travelled from Bury in Greater Manchester with her daughter to attend Phyllis’ birthday celebration.

“I have lots of friends and the house was packed,” said Phyllis. “I counted 54 cards and I think most of them were given to me at the party.”

Phyllis was a keen gardener in her younger years, even joining Hellesdon Gardening Club for a time.

“I loved gardening,” she said. “I can’t do it now but my conservatory is packed with plants – I can’t get out to the garden so I bring it in to me.”

Phyllis also enjoyed dressmaking, cross-stitch and embroidery, many of which are hung on her walls and several feature her favourite animal – tigers!

Always making the most of her independence, Phyllis didn’t stop driving until she was 94 – and only then because she was worried that if she had an accident, it would automatically be blamed on her because of her age!

Now she’s a bit more open to help, with friends and neighbours looking after her beloved garden, helping out with housework and doing her shopping – although she’s keen to point out that she still cooks her own meals!

“It’s a great age and a great privilege to live that long,” said Phyllis. “I’ve had a happy life, although I never married I had a lot of friends who have been kind and good to me, so I’ve got no complaints.”

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