Ethel Layhe is celebrating her 100th Christmas this year, as she turned 100-years-old on December 21.
Born in Worksop in 1919, Ethel lived on James Street for over 45 years.
Her maiden name was Cottingham before she married Doug Layhe on July 31 1943 at the Parish Church in Worksop.
Together, Ethel and Doug, had one son named Stuart, who sadly passed away 53 years ago when he was 19.
Claire Smith, Ethel’s best friend, helped her celebrate the milestone birthday after a chance meeting uncovered a surprising connection between the two women.
Working at Aldi, where Ethel would do her weekly-shop, Claire would always lend a helping hand ‘even though Ethel was an independent lady’, and they’d have a chat.
Ethel told Claire of her son’s tragic death due to a motorcycle accident and Claire could related to the tragedy as she lost her auntie in the same kind of accident over 50 years ago.
After discussing the coincidence it was discovered that Claire’s auntie was Ethel’s son’s girlfriend, who both died in the same accident and this cemented their friendship.
Ethel was widowed in 2007 but thanks to her friendship with Claire she isn’t alone.
Claire, 45, from Worksop said: “I visit Ethel most days, do her shopping, keep her company. She calls me her best friend and I have adopted her as my grandma.”
Ethel and Claire had a tea party to commemorate the special occasion.