Harrogate birthday girl, 100, marks milestone at Granby Court

Cissey Crossley with her son Paul and her daughter-in-law Ann
Cissey Crossley with her son Paul and her daughter-in-law Ann

The champagne was flowing at Granby Court Care Homeas Cissey Crossley celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends.

Cissey was born in Pontefract on October 2 1914 and moved to Harrogate 12 years ago before she moved to Granby Court last year.

After leaving school, Cissey enjoyed a number of jobs including a milk round, working in a fish shop in Knottingley and then working on her elder brother’s farm.

Cissey said her elder brother, Reginald Greenwood, helped raise her and her brother and sister, George and Doris, after her father died down the mines when she was two-years-old.

Cissey said: “My first job was a milk round, delivering milk to the neighbours and then I worked in a fish shop in Knottingley. We were the first shop to have a little supper house above us so.“My brother Reginald bought a farm and that’s where we used to grow liquorice as well as a lot of arable farming. Pontefract is famous for its liquorice and it was the only area in the country where you could grow it.

“During the war, we actually had a number of German prisoners working on the farm and they taught my son Paul how to walk. We also had a number of Bevin Boys working on the farm.”

In 1944, Cissey married her husband Ambrose Crossley at All Saints Church in Pontefract but had to wait to tie the knot until he was on leave from the army.

Cissey said: “My husband was an engineer in the quarry at Ackworth and we went back to farming after the war but then we sold it and went into selling trucks and tyres. I was always very busy working.

“I can still remember the pale blue suit that I was wearing 70 years ago when I got married.”

Cissey was joined by her son and daughter-in-law, Paul and Ann Crossley, who organised the celebrations at the care home and revealed her secret to a long life.

Paul said: “She’s always been active, never smoked and she didn’t really drink that much. She did have a drink now and then at celebrations but she’s never been a heavy drinker. There’s never been anything wrong with her.She used to swim as a schoolgirl and she even won medals for it. She has always watched sport and I even got her into motorsport after I became interested in it.”

Ann described her as a ‘down to earth, hard working woman. She said: “Cissey is very honest, fun loving and keeps them all laughing in the nursing home. This has been one of her best days, she was overwhelmed with the cake and all her friends that have come to see her.

“We just wanted to organise this little get-together in the home. She has three grandchildren and seven great grandchildren and they are excited to see her later.

“This has been one of her best days. She was overwhelmed with the cake and all her friends that have come to see her and all the hard work of the staff at the care home.”