Remarkable Bessie's still laughing at the age of 100
A remarkable 100-year-old from Spofforth celebrated her milestone birthday still as active and independent as ever.
Bessie Brooke, nee Perrin, moved to the village in 1967 and remains an active member of the community.
She still enjoys the Spofforth Senior Moments Travel Club outings and trips and accompanied the group to Red Hill Farm tea rooms near the village for a celebratory afternoon tea in her honour.
Among her many enthusiasms, she has amassed a large personal collection of Teddy Bears, including her most recent addition, a small Teddy from London resplendent in his Union Flag jersey, one of her birthday gifts.
Born in Dewsbury in June 2016 shortly before the start of the Battle of the Somme, Bessie also retains her positive outlook on life and a keen sense of humour.
She’s led a life less ordinary and her much-loved late husband, in fact, was one of the code breakers at Bexley Heath during the First World War.
She had an eventful childhood, losing the tip of her wedding ring finger in a mangle, knocked down by a lorry and having to be plucked from the River Calder.
All this was before she had even reached double figures in age.
But Bessie survived all these incidents and married Harry Brooke in May 1940.
During the Second World War she worked at Appleyards in Leeds, wiring lights onto the wings of the Fairey Swordfish.
By 1950 she was living in Upper Batley and was the mother of two children.
In the early 1960s she featured in the local press as she had joined a woodwork evening class, a rare event for a woman in those days.
She has a keen interest in current affairs and still reads the Yorkshire Post every day.
Times have certainly changed in the years since she was born 100 years ago but one thing hasn’t - Bessie.