Fresh air and family secret to Sheffielder’s long life

Norah Turner, aged 100
Norah Turner, aged 100
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Fresh air, good walks and the great outdoors must surely be the secret of Norah Turner’s long life...

Sheffield’s latest centenarian celebrated her 100th birthday with a party, a letter from the Queen, and a look back on a life packed with walks in the Peak District.

Norah Turner as a young lady

Norah Turner as a young lady

Norah was born on September 1, 1914, just as World War One was taking hold across Europe. But she survived - and during WWII escaped unscathed again, when shrapnel hit her home on Eskdale Road in Hillsborough while she was in the air raid shelter. Even the Christmas tree went undamaged, with not a single decoration smashed despite the kitchen roof being destroyed.

As a young woman Norah was in service for a family on Carterknowle Road, and helped behind the bar at The Castle Inn on Dykes Hall Road. Later she had jobs at a cutlery works and as a dinner lady.

She married twice, first in 1936 to Bill France, with whom she had two children - Barbara, now 74, and Barry. After Bill’s death in 1964, she was married to Joe Turner from 1973 until his death in 2000. Sadly son Barry died too, in 1997, but Norah’s life has been enriched by four grandchildren and now nine great-grandchildren.

As a younger woman she enjoyed rambling in Derbyshire - especially to Monsal Dale and Bakewell - and organising rambling club parties in the pubs she frequented on the walks.

Norah lived on Eskdale Road for 70 years, from 1936 to 2006, when she moved to Hawkhills Care Home in Stannington.

Manager Ann Cullen said: “Norah is an amazing character with a fantastically cheeky sense of humour.”

Carer Chris Finlay said: “I’ve been privileged to know Norah for eight years. She is a very special lady who touches a lot of hearts and I feel honoured to know her.”

And team leader Cheryl Schofield added: “Norah is very caring, loving and affectionate, and exceedingly proud of her family. She likes to spin a good yarn and has us all in fits of laughter.

“Norah was very excited to get her letter from the Queen - as she said, ‘I’ve waited a long time for it!’.”