Sad death of Sheffield’s oldest buffer girl, 102

buffersd'Pictured is Emily Street,celebrating her 102 Birthday at Knowle Hill Care Home in Halfway,Sheffield
buffersd'Pictured is Emily Street,celebrating her 102 Birthday at Knowle Hill Care Home in Halfway,Sheffield
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SHEFFIELD’S oldest buffer girl has died - just weeks after celebrating her 102nd birthday.

Emily Street marked her milestone with a party at Knowle Hill Care Home in Halfway in February.

Family and friends gathered again in her honour last week to say goodbye at her funeral at City Road Crematorium.

Among them was her daughter Connie Rodgers, granddaughter Patricia Lowe and her husband Mark, and grandsons Simon and Christopher.

Emily was born in Lord Street, Park Hill - formerly Park district - on Valentine’s Day 1909 and had a brother and five sisters.

She became a buffer girl at the age of 14, working for Mappin and Webb, and during the war ran a fish and chip shop on London Road.

When it was destroyed in the Blitz bombings on the city, she moved to work at Cravens in Darnall where she made aeroplane wings.

Later, Emily met her future husband James at a Whit Sunday party in the Park district park.

They were married, had their daughter Connie - now aged 82 - and enjoyed their weekends having picnics in the countryside and going to social clubs.

For more than 60 years, a key date in Emily’s diary was a twice-weekly trip to Thingymebobs hair salon on Birley Moor Road, Birley, for a perm and a shampoo and set. She marked her centenary there with a cake and champagne celebration, before a party at Patricia’s house that evening - after which she had to be dragged home at 1.30am!

Emily moved to Knowle Hill only last November, having lived independently and looking after herself at home in Frecheville until then.

She instantly became a much-loved resident of the care home, and was the centre of attention at her 102nd birthday party which welcomed Lord Mayor Coun Alan Law and entertainer Johnny Alone.

Patricia, 50, from Waterthorpe, said her grandmother would be missed by many.

“She was a real character,” she said. “She was well thought of and well liked by so many people.

“She enjoyed a laugh and a giggle and was quite the joker at times.

“I think the secret to her long life must have been hard work - right up to the very end she was cooking her own meals and doing her own washing.

“Even when she moved into Knowle Hill she always wanted to help out and do what she could. She kept going right until the very end.”