Blanche shows her steel to reach 100

Many happy returns: Blanche Walters with daughter Christine and her husband Colin Hill and their son David and his wife Linda.
Many happy returns: Blanche Walters with daughter Christine and her husband Colin Hill and their son David and his wife Linda.
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She saw a Zeppelin coasting over Sheffield as a child and would later meet her her husband while working in a wartime factory.

Now a Woman of Steel who remembers both World Wars is celebrating a century of life in Sheffield.

Blanche Walters, of Totley, marked her 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends.

She said: “I had a smashing day. I got a card from the Queen and all the family came.”

Blanche said she has seen a lot change through the years in the city she has lived her whole life.

“I remember being at school during the first world war and seeing a Zeppelin fly overhead,” she said.

“The teacher put her arms around us and told us to lie down, but of course it didn’t drop any bombs. Things were different back then.”

Blanche, who was born on June 30, 1912, grew up in Highfields and attended Netherthorpe School. After leaving school aged 14, she worked as a florist on Chapel Walk.

She then met her husband Bill, who died in 2002, while operating a milling machine at the Stalker Drill Works, Langsett Road, during World War Two.

The pair had three children – David, now aged 65, 60-year-old Kathleen and Christine, 57 – as well as eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

And Blanche, who lives on her own, believes both her family and her independence have been key to her longevity.

She said: “I’ve tried to live a good life. I have a marvellous family and we all look after each other.

“I do all my own cooking and washing. I cook a meal every day.

“The doctor says that’s why I’ve lived so long.

“You’ve got to keep yourself active and keep doing things.”

David said: “She’s a dedicated, wonderful mother and grandma.

“She’s very independent and still lives her own way of life.”