Great-great-gran and true survivor dies, 104

Loved to bits:  Elizabeth Nicholls, aged 104, with daughter Jean Stocks.                                Picture: Stuart Hastings.

Loved to bits: Elizabeth Nicholls, aged 104, with daughter Jean Stocks. Picture: Stuart Hastings.

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ONE of South Yorkshire’s oldest residents has died aged 104 - after a lifetime of hard graft, Sheffield grit, and tots of whisky in her tea...

True survivor Elizabeth Nicholls - who swore by daily cod liver oil tablets and the occasional tipple - lived independently until the age of 103.

She did all her own housework to keep her Woodhouse home spotless, and was shopping at Sheffield Market twice a week until she was 97.

Widowed at 36 she raised three children on her own, taking in washing and cleaning pubs for money.

Proud daughter Jean Stocks, aged 73, said: “My mum was a brilliant woman - a real survivor. She was widowed at 36 and raised all three of us children on her own. She was a fantastic mum, and a fantastic nan.”

Elizabeth moved to Abbey Grange nursing home in Firth Park nine months ago. In July the home threw a summer party to mark her 104th birthday.

She was born in Attercliffe in 1907 and lived in Sheffield all her life.

Her years as a widowed young mum, raising her family in Attercliffe, were tough - but Jean said she and her siblings never went without.

“When it was Whitsun we’d always have lovely new outfits to wear. And she always managed to cook lovely food, keep an immaculate home, and bake for us.

“My mum had a hard life and always had to struggle, but I think that’s what made her what she was. She just kept on surviving. We all loved her to bits.”

Widowed twice - she married Stanley Nicholls when she was 50 - Elizabeth lived on Staniforth Road in Darnall before moving to Woodhouse and then Abbey Grange.

Elizabeth’s three children - Jean, of Firshill; Eileen, of Rotherham, and Raymond, of Handsworth - provided her with 14 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at 11am on Wednesday at City Road Crematorium, followed by a gathering at Firth Park Working Men’s Club.

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