Longest married woman celebrates 100th birthday

A BRIDLINGTON woman who has laid claim to having one of the longest marriages in the UK has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Marie Sophia Hatton, nee Ashby, was born in Leeds on February 24, 1910 -in the same year that Henri Coanda made the first short flight in a jet powered aircraft and George V was crowned King following the death of his father Edward VII.

A double celebration has taken place to mark the milestone birthday. Friends joined Marie, and her husband Tommy Hatton, for a party at the Edna Weekes Day Centre while around 15 family members gathered for a meal at the Expanse Hotel, in Bridlington.

The celebrations come two years after Marie and Tommy, 98, of Bempton Oval were named as one of the UK's longest married couples in a competition run by power suppliers E-on. They have now been married for over 75 years.

In 1915 Marie started at Christ Church School in Armley, Leeds, the same school as author Barbara Taylor Bradford and Alan Bennett.

She went on to work at Springfield Mill, in Farnsley in 1924 and married Tommy on December 22, 1934, eight months after first meeting at Armley Baths Dance Hall, in Leeds.

The couple's first daughter, Maureen, 75, was born a year later with their son Tony, 67, arriving in 1942.

After the Second World War Marie and Tommy spent many holidays at Mrs Shaw's in Neptune Street, Bridlin-gton and there followed holidays in Belg-ium, Italy, Yug-oslavia, and Spain to name but a few.

In the meantime grandchildren Mark and Judith were born and three great-grandchildren Ron-nie, Emma and Michael followed.

Marie retired in 1970 and took up Crown Green Bowling which she enjoyed for many years at Bramley Liberal Club and Bramley Park before moving to Bridlington in 2001.