Former Miss Gainsborough is all smiles at 100th bash

100th birthday celebrations for Hazel Johnson (w130727-3c)
100th birthday celebrations for Hazel Johnson (w130727-3c)

A former Gainsborough beauty queen ate ice cream on her 100th birthday surrounded by five generations of her family.

Hazel Johnson, of Blyton, was crowned Miss Gainsborough in 1933.

It is an accolade she is still very proud of and she keeps a certificate and photo of herself holding the trophy in pride of place.

Hazel still makes the most of her appearance, always taking time to put on nice clothes and apply her make-up.

And what better excuse to do so than a big family bash.

Blyton Ice Cream parlour was the venue for the special gathering which saw all five generations get together and celebrate.

“She has three grandchildren, five great grandchildren and three great great grandchildren,” said grandson Chris Johnson, 57, of Ropery Road, Gainsborough.

“We all love her, especially the younger members of the family who think she’s wonderful.”

Champagne corks popped to mark the occasion, and it would not have been a party without a hearty scoop of ice cream.

But Hazel has led a clean life up to now, reaping the benefits of a farming upbringing and healthy lifestyle.

Said Chris: “When the doctor visits he says she is the healthiest on his books.”

Hazel was born in Northorpe to Mark and Ruth Pye who farmed at Pilham.

She went to school in Northorpe until she was 11, then went to Scotter school until the age of 14.

In the meantime her parents bought a farm at Blyton and moved the family there.

And Blyton is where Hazel has lived ever since.

“She always tells me she remembers her uncle coming back after the First World War, although she would have been very young then,” said Chris.

In 1935, two years after winning the coveted Miss Gainsborough crown, Hazel married Len Johnson.

And a year after that they had their only daughter, Christine.

In the early 1960s Hazel’s father had a petrol station on Laughton Road in the village and she helped him out there, pumping fuel for local motorists.

But for most of her life Hazel was a housewife. Len passed away in 1975 and since his death she has remained very independent.

Said Chris: “Grandma is a pretty quiet lady, she is very sweet. She has always taken care of herself, wearing nice clothes and make up.”

“She had a lovely time at the party. She loved seeing all the family together.”

“She is quite a remarkable woman and we wish her all the best.”