Former Sheffield cutler Dora celebrates 103 birthday

Dora Billard who is 103 years old at her care home with carers Claire and Gill
Dora Billard who is 103 years old at her care home with carers Claire and Gill
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She’s lived through two world wars, the election of 23 prime ministers, and the reign of four monarchs.

And now Dora Billard has celebrated her 103rd birthday.

She was born near Maltby, Rotherham, in 1911 - when King George V was on the throne, Herbert Henry Asquith was Prime Minister, and Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth’s ‘Turn off your light, Mr Moon Man’ was a hit of the year.

Dora grew up with her parents, Elizabeth and Fred Sanderson, two brothers and a sister.

As a young woman she moved to Brighton and got a job working as a chambermaid in a hotel. By the age of 26, she was working as a barmaid in Sheffield and met her husband, George Billard, a pen and pocket knife maker for cutlery firm Stephenson and Wilson.

The pair lived in Sheffield city centre before moving to Shiregreen and bringing up their two sons, Barry and George.

When the boys were a little older and going to school, Dora got a job working in the Bassett’s factory making Liquorice Allsorts. And for the last 20 years of her career, she joined husband George at Stephenson and Wilson making knives.

Dora retired at the age of 70 and spent her retirement enjoying trips to bingo and having a flutter on the horses.

She cared for George until he died aged 90, then continued to live independently until the age of 99 at the Sunny Bank sheltered scheme.

Dora moved to Grange Crescent care home in Nether Edge in time for her 100th birthday.

The grandmother-of-three and great-grandmother-of-five celebrated turning 103 with a family tea party on Monday.