Worksop pensioner Minnie marks 100th birthday at bingo hall

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A Worksop pensioner celebrated her 100th birthday with her closest family and friends - and a party held in her honour at her regular bingo club.

Minnie Rudderham hit the century mark on Monday, July 11, and was showered with affection and gifts.

For a woman who has seen so much though, she did not allow the occasion to overwhelm her.

Minnie said: “I wouldn’t say it was exciting, but it was nice to have everyone together, I’m home alone most of the time. But I don’t really feel any different now.”

The highlights of the day were a visit from Minnie’s daughter-in-law, who lives in Scotland, a card from the Queen and a memorable trip to Palais Bingo, on Newcastle Avenue.

Club bosses hosted a party with discounted games, decorations, a birthday cake made and champagne all round.

Manager Steve Race presented the birthday girl with a bouquet of flowers from everyone at the club. He said: “Minnie is a remarkable woman and we are proud to have her as part of the Palais family.”

Her bingo friends are like family now to Minnie, who said: “I get about as much as I can, but I like the bingo every Monday and Wednesday as it’s a chance to be among people.”

The former Palais de Danse cinema building was a fitting venue to celebrate Minnie’s life, as she started her career as an usherette at the old Victoria Palace cinema on Victoria Square.

Born in Retford in the middle of the First World War, her family moved to Worksop at age five and she has lived here ever since.

She said: “It’s the same as ever, there’s rich people and there’s poor people. When we were children we could skip in the road, but you couldn’t possibly do that now.”

Minnie married her first husband Ernest Sargeson when she was 21, and when war broke out two years later she went to work in an ammunition factory in Ranskill.

They had a son Edward, who had a successful career in the Royal Navy while Minnie kept working in school kitchens, first at St Mary’s and then at the Valley.

She later married Jack Rudderham, and since being widowed has been cared for by her good friends Mary and Steve Tulip.

Asked to look forward rather than back, Minnie said: “I just hope I can keep going like I am now, ring me next year.”