'Tiptonian of the Year' nominee turns 100 with a smile

A woman who was nominated for the Tiptonian of the Year Award for setting up a social club for elderly people has celebrated her 100th birthday with her family.

Edna Hill, celebrating her 100th birthday at Bearwood Nursing Home. She is pictured with her daughters, Beverley Knight and Marilyn Hodgkins
Edna Hill, celebrating her 100th birthday at Bearwood Nursing Home. She is pictured with her daughters, Beverley Knight and Marilyn Hodgkins

Edna Hill was born on May 12, 1922, and is the eldest of 13 siblings - three of whom are still alive today: Edna, Margaret, and Gwyneth.

The resident at Bearwood Nursing Home in Smethwick was all smiles in her birthday tiara as the care home threw a party to celebrate her centenary - which was attended by 13 members of her family.

Edna Hill with her family. In no particular order: Sam Glover, Daniel Knight, Jodie Burbridge, Richard Clarke, Maurice Hodgkins, Ian and Emma Turner, Grace Turner, Joel Turner, Joseph Hawthorne, Dawson Knight, Beverley Knight, Marilyn Hodgkins.

Her eldest daughter, 74-year-old Marilyn Hodgkins from Wednesbury, said: "She's so happy in this home, she thinks she's at an all-inclusive hotel.

"She's always loved ballroom dancing, and she was the one who started the afternoon tea dances at Tipton Sports Academy.

Edna Hill, celebrating her 100th birthday at Bearwood Nursing Home.

"She was nominated for the Tiptonian of the Year Award for setting up the Silver Threads social club at the academy.

"Lots of ladies who had lost their husbands would go to meetings once a week and go out for the day on trips – she'd also call the bingo for them."

Edna met her husband, Joseph Hill, when they both worked at the John Bagnall and Sons Lea Brook Iron Works in Wednesbury, where Joseph operated the rolling mills and Edna drove the crane.

Edna and Joseph got married in 1945 and went on to have two daughters, Marilyn Hodgkins and Beverley Knight.

Edna with her husband, Joseph Hill.

Marilyn has two children, Emma and Ian, while 63-year-old Beverley from Tipton has a daughter and a son, Jodie and Daniel.

Joseph died 13 years ago when he was 86, after being nursed by Edna for five or six years.

Edna's centenary birthday is even more impressive considering that she battled with her health throughout her life.

Edna Hill, pictured in her younger days.

Marilyn said: "She had TB when I was five and she caught peritonitis later in life. She's not always enjoyed the best of health but she always looked after us."

Marilyn added: "She's very chatty, I take after her. And she loves to sing. We sing with her in the home.

"My dad used to like 50s music like The Ink Spots and The Platters, he always sang a song called I Know A Millionaire.

"We'll sing it together on a Sunday morning in the home."

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