Sheffield centenarian Kitty who worked on Spitfires during WW2 celebrates 105th birthday - with a packet of crisps and some fruit pastilles!

At the grand age of 105, Sheffielder Kitty Little has decided to have whatever she enjoys – which in her case means cheese and onion crisps and packets of fruit pastilles!

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 12:23 pm

Woman of Steel Kitty, who was born in Orchard Terrace, Woodhouse, celebrated her birthday on Wednesday (July 21) at Beechy Knoll Care Home in Richmond.

On her big day she enjoyed a lie-in and breakfast in bed, visits by family and a special garden party with the other residents and staff and entertainment from a singer, Keeley May.

One of her birthday cards was sent by the Queen.

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Kitty Little reads her 105th birthday card from the Queen

Kitty, whose name is Gladys, worked in steelworks during the war, welding parts for Lancaster Bombers and Spitfire planes.

She married Alf in 1944 and they were together for 49 years before he sadly died. The couple had three children, Anne, Richard and Keith, as well as five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Home manager Marina Glaves said that Kitty is a very cheerful presence at the home.

She said that Kitty tucks into about three bags of her favourite crisps and at least two packets of pastilles a day.

Kitty Little celebrates her 105th birthday with the staff at Beechy Knoll Care Home in Sheffield

The menu was a little different for her garden party – dainty scones, cakes and sandwiches and a big birthday cake that everyone at the home enjoyed a slice of.

Marina said: “We’ve got a lovely outside area that’s secure. We’ve had a new pod built so we’ll have the food in there.

“All the residents will be out there enjoying the singer. It will be a lovely day for Kitty.

“We always celebrate the residents’ birthdays – you never know when it’s going to be your last but she’ll probably reach 110. She is ever so feisty.

“Kitty certainly is a character – she draws people in. She is quite hard of hearing now but she is funny.”

Marina said all the staff are excited to help Kitty celebrate such a big birthday and had been shopping for special treats.

The home is also celebrating the fact that none of the 37 residents have had Covid.

Marina said: “We’ve managed to keep everybody safe. It’s been very hard work but the residents haven’t suffered for it. We’ve worked hard to make sure they don’t.”

She said that staff who have caught Covid have successfully isolated, all staff and residents have had jabs and residents and families have been on board with visiting restrictions to keep everyone safe.

She added: “For staff, it’s your work family and you get close to people. It must be so sad and depressing in homes where they have lost people. Our staff have been amazing.

“At one point 75 per cent of staff were off sick with Covid at the beginning. Nobody brought it back. That’s because of our regime – we do tests on staff three times a week.”

Marina said staff love working with the residents. “That’s what keeps you coming to work. You’re here for 12 hours. You come back the next day and the residents are pleased to see you.

“That’s what makes it worthwhile.”