Yarburgh woman celebrates 100th birthday

100-year-old Sylvia Oates with her 3-year-old great-grandaughter Cadi.
100-year-old Sylvia Oates with her 3-year-old great-grandaughter Cadi.

A woman from Yarburgh celebrated her 100th birthday this week, surrounded by her family and friends.

Sylvia Oates was born in Senghenydd, near Caerphilly in South Wales, on February 25, 1914.

The town of Senghenydd had suffered the worst mining accident in Britain’s history just a few months before Sylvia was born, in which 439 miners were killed. Sylvia’s twin brother, William Benjamin, was named after two of their uncles who were killed in the disaster.

After leaving school, Sylvia trained and qualified as a tailoress. To this day, her favourite hobbies include knitting, sewing and crocheting clothes and gifts for her family.

She later met and married farmer John Evans, with whom she bought land and built their new home. Together they had two sons, Barrie and Lynn.

John sadly died in 1974 and Sylvia took over running a local Welsh Craft shop.

In 1981, she remarried and moved to Saxilby, near Lincoln.

Her second husband, Richard, died in 2007 and Sylvia moved to Yarburgh to be closer to Lynn and his family.

Sylvia celebrated her 100th birthday with a party at Tetney Golf Club on Saturday February 22, with 90 friends and relatives. They also enjoyed a celebratory lunch at The Mill House in Covenham.

On the big day itself, Sylvia celebrated with family and friends at home in Yarburgh.

On receiving her birthday card from the Queen, she said: “It is wonderful, and I feel very honoured!”

When asked about her age, Sylvia puts it down to hard work, good food, a healthy lifestyle and, of course, to being Welsh!