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Singalong celebrations as Walsall woman turns 105

By Jordan Reynolds | Walsall | News | Published:

A Walsall woman has celebrated her 105th birthday with a singalong.

Olive Saunders on her 105th birthday

Olive Saunders, from Walsall, was born in Essex Street just four months after the First World War started in 1914.

Now more than a century on she has marked her latest milestone with her family at Harden Hall Care Home where she lives.

Olive Saunders with son Phil
Olive Saunders with mother Beatrice when she was a baby

Mayor Paul Bott visited Olive as well as family. She enjoyed a slice of cake or two and joined in with a singer.

After studying at the Blue Coat School, Olive went on to work in the leather trade making what was known as ‘fancy leather’ such as wallets and dog collar for factories such as Whitehouse Cox & Co, taking a break in the 1960s to work as a dinner lady at RC Thomas School.

Olive Saunders with sons Derrick and Phil
Olive Saunders pictured 101 years ago aged four

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In 1936 she had married a builder, Harold Saunders – who had the same last name – and went on to have two sons, Philip in 1937 and Derrick in 1944 all living in Bloxwich Road, before the pair divorced in 1958.

She moved to the newly-built flats at Leamore in the 60s until the was about 97, when she moved to Harden Hall Care Home.

Olive now has three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Olive Saunders in Blackpool with son Derrick

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Her son Derrick said: "We had the mayor and mayoress come and people from the head office of her home.

"There was a fairly big crowd coming in and out.

"We even spoke to my daughter in Australia over Skype.

Olive Saunders with son Derrick, at their Walsall home, complete with air raid shelter at the back

"She was quite alert really considering her age. We had a singer and she was joining in and thoroughly enjoying herself.

"It was an enormous party, the home put on a buffet and everything."

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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