Centenarian Nancy sets a benchmark after a life of hard work and selfless dedication

A skilled needlewoman achieved a benchmark after celebrating her 100th birthday with family, friends and carers in Jedburgh this week.

Nancy Kennedy, from Queens Court, Jedburgh, celebrated her 100th birthday on Tuesday, June 15. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Nancy Kennedy, from Queens Court, Jedburgh, celebrated her 100th birthday on Tuesday, June 15. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Nancy Kennedy became a centenarian on Tuesday, June 15, and was delighted to receive a birthday greeting from Her Majesty The Queen.

A celebratory get-together was staged in the garden at Queen’s Court retirement home in Jedburgh, where she has lived for the past five years.

Her family decided to mark the occasion with the donation of a new garden bench bearing her name, which Nancy cut the ribbon on.

Nancy Kennedy from Queen's Court, Jedburgh, had her big birthday on Tuesday, June 15, pictured with her daughter, Moira Flemming. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Born at Mossband in Cumbria to a policeman dad and dressmaking mum the family moved to Stirling at the beginning of the Second World War, where Nancy met and married RAF gunner William Kennedy.

The couple separated and Nancy rose to the challenge of raising the couple’s only child, Moira, on her own.

Moira, 76, said: “She brought me up and worked all her life. My mother is a very fine needlewoman, working on hand-embroidered things and she was also a kilt maker. She was manager of a large dress fabric shop in Stirling and was a dressmaker too

“She was very skilled at all these jobs and then she retired in the 1980s and came to Jedburgh to be close to myself, my husband Matt and her granddaughters Lesley, Sarah, and Irene.”

Moira said her mum had no secret for a long life.

She said: “My mother has always been a tremendous reader, a puzzler, a cross-worderer, a very fine gardener. Nobody in the family has lived that long but she has always led a healthy life, has always been a walker and a hard-working lady because she was on her own she had to do everything.

"She doesn’t attribute her long life to anything in particular, she just says ‘why me’, ‘why am I still here’. She enjoys her family very much, she has five great-grandchildren and is very fond of everyone in the family.

"Her health is pretty good, she’s nearly blind and very deaf but in terms of her constitution she is very strong. She enjoys a wee glass of champagne, a little sherry or a little Irish cream in moderation.

"She’s now looking forward very much to the return of the little social things that Queen’s Court do very well.”