Blaydon grandmother celebrates 100th birthday with her family - through the window

A grandmother celebrated her 100th birthday with her family - through her window.

Known for her ‘fiesty’ personality, Ellen Wilkinson marked the big day with her loved ones despite the coronavirus lockdown.

Ellen is a resident at Winton Court in Blaydon but it has been on lockdown since the coronavirus outbreak.

Staff at the assisted living facility made the day extra special by decorating her room with balloons, banners with messages from residents.

And her family travelled up to surprise her, but were forced to wave at her from the car park through her window.

Ellen Wilkinson Credit: NCJ MEDIA SYNDICATION

Ellen said: "It’s really hit me not being able to see my family, it made me really upset.

“It was a lovely surprise this morning seeing them through the window and I didn't expect it, what everyone has done for me.

"I’m not bothered really about turning 100. I’ve never drunk, smoked, always kept busy and I've lived a quiet life."

Her family was devastated they couldn't celebrate this special day with her but delivered a ‘party for one’ package including a cake, cards, presents and balloons – which Ellen was over the moon with.

Her granddaughter Catherine Kilday said: “It’s heartbreaking that we can’t be with gran on her special day. She had been really looking forward to her party we had planned.

"We are so overwhelmed and grateful to all the amazing staff at Winton Court who, as always, give gran the most wonderful care, and have gone out of their way to give her the best birthday possible in these difficult circumstances.

"When things get back to normal we’ll have a big celebration.”

Ellen Wilkinson Credit: NCJ MEDIA SYNDICATION

Ellen was born in 1920 and was the eldest of eight siblings, who have all now died.

In 1928 she attended the official opening of the Tyne Bridge where her dad John Wilkinson shook hands with King George V.

After attending St. Thomas School, she left to start a job working in the stockroom at Pumphrey & Carrick Watson on Blackett Street.

This was where she met the love of her life John Woolf, who called into Pumphrey’s to see his Aunt Sally who was a work colleague.

After they both got chatting they grew fond of each other and started to go out.

Six years later the loving couple married on Christmas Eve in 1941 and Ellen left her job at Pumphrey’s.

The following year, Ellen gave birth to their daughter Doreen before John went away in the Royal Navy.

And after he returned the couple celebrated the birth to their son James in 1950.

Sadly, Ellen soul mate died after having a stroke in 1994.

Now a great-grandmother to nine, Ellen moved to Winton Court in 2013 and is loved by all the staff and her family.

Catherine added: “It’s fair to say she is one of Winton Court’s characters.

"She has a great sense of humour and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.

The staff at Winton Court take very good care of her."

Ellen Wilkinson and staff from Winton Court Credit: NCJ MEDIA SYNDICATION