Louie toasts 108th birthday with friends at Duchess

A bubbly and popular resident at Duchess Gardens Care Centre has celebrated her 108th birthday.

Louie Piotrowski toasted the remarkable milestone with a grand party thrown in her honour by staff at the care centre in Bingley, West Yorkshire.

Staff pulled out all the stops to ensure the guest of honour, fellow residents and family members were treated to a delicious afternoon tea in the day centre, with a sing-along and dancing led by entertainer Lianne King.

The day centre was decorated with balloons and banners in Louie’s favourite colour, pink, while the crowning glory was a beautiful decorative cake that featured her passions of ballroom dancing, music and books. Staff also lined the walls with momentous events that have happened since 1909.

And appropriately for a Duchess resident, Louie received a birthday card from the Queen, as well as a card and mug from the Lord Mayor of Bradford.

Grandson Chris Yates says Louie, who has been a Duchess resident since 2012, has the family nickname of ‘Little Spitfire’ on account of her feisty, no-nonsense approach to life!

Says Chris: “Grandma has always been very, very active and was always out doing something. She loved doing a host of things, from singing in concerts to heading out on her bike with other members of the local cycle club.

“She has always been very involved with the community, and always told us to keep active, do what you want and don’t live your life for others.”

“Louie is a character and for someone of 108 she can make anybody smile with her spirited nature,” says Duchess manager, Dawn Murphy.

“She keeps the staff on their toes by being mischievous and has been known to sound the call bell in her room then pretend to be asleep!”

Born Sarah Louisa Duffy in the Hunslet area of Leeds, Louie married Frank Yates and moved to the West Yorkshire town of Otley in 1939, where their sons Peter and Jim grew up.

A keen member of the local choral society, she also taught ballroom dancing while working as an orderly in the town’s hospital.

Her husband Frank died in 1952 and she married Polish millworker Ted Piotrowski four years later.

The couple moved to nearby Burley-in-Wharfedale and Louie became the warden at Menston Hall sheltered housing in 1967.

Ted died while Louie was in her early 90s and she carried on living on her own until the age of 103.

As well as being the oldest resident at Duchess Gardens Louie, who has four grandchildren and is also a great grandmother, has become one of the 100 oldest people in Britain, and is among the 10 oldest people in Yorkshire.

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