Sheffield centenarian credits good genes as secret to long life after celebrating 100th birthday

A great-great-grandmother has credited good genes as the secret to a long life after reaching the grand age of 100.

Friday, 14th February 2020, 3:34 pm
Updated Friday, 14th February 2020, 4:42 pm

Nellie Pyne, nee Senior, marked the landmark birthday with an open-house style party at Bloo88, on West Street, and was overjoyed to be joined by around 70 of her family and friends.

Celebrations then continued the day after, on her actual birthday, when the centenarian opened a special card from the Queen to add to the collection in her front room.

Read More

Read More
Was this how you would spend a typical Saturday in Sheffield in the 1980s?

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Nellie Pyne celebrated her 100th with a family party at the Bloo88 on West Street, Sheffield City Centre.

Nellie was born to parents Clara and Leonard Senior at their Attercliffe home on February 10, 1920.

One of six siblings, she enjoyed a happy childhood and recalls time spent at her grandparents' grocery store on Attercliffe Road.

It was during this time she met her future husband-to-be Alf Pyne – who was five years her senior – however, it was not love at first sight.

Nellie said: “I’d always known Alf as he lived on our street and he went to Firth Park Grammar School for Boys. We went to Huntsman’s Gardens School and called them ‘bloodnuts’ as they wore red caps and were too clever for us.”

Nellie Pyne celebrated her 100th with a family party at the Bloo88 on West Street, Sheffield City Centre.

But romance eventually blossomed between the pair during a night out dancing at the Darnall Social Club, a pastime they both enjoyed.

On September 15, 1940, when the lovebirds were in their 20s, they married at Christ Church, in Attercliffe, just two weeks after it was bombed by German planes in the midst of the Second World War meaning the nuptials had to be moved to the annexe at the side.

They went on to have three children – Pat, who is now 78, and Jacqueline, who passed away at six months old due to pneumonia, before welcoming another daughter, Stephanie, now aged 63, 14 years later – and as a family, they would enjoy holidays to places such as Southport, Cleethorpes and Blackpool.

Nellie has always harboured a great work ethic and has undertaken various roles in her lifetime including stints as a waitress, office worker and eventually a manager at Rackhams – which became House of Fraser in 1987 – where she stayed until retirement.

Pictured is Nellie with five generations of family - Pat Walker (daughter), Mandy Sheriff (granddaughter), William Sheriff (great-grandson), Evie and Jacob Sheriff (great-great-grandchildren)

To this day, she remains active and independent and has lived on her own managing her day to day needs since Alf died 32 years ago.

Despite her age, Nellie still loves to dress up and is often seen with her glad rags on at family events.

She is very proud of her family and has five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Some of her relatives now live abroad in places such as Canada, Greece and Spain – where she went for her 90th birthday – so she is often in contact with them via Facetime.

Nellie Pyne celebrated her 100th with a family party at the Bloo88 on West Street, Sheffield City Centre.

Up until two years ago, she would visit Sheffield city centre on a daily basis to shop and play bingo but sadly due to a fall, she is no longer confident to be out alone and relies on her large family to take her shopping and out for meals.

When asked the secret to a long life, Nellie said: “My grandma was 96 and my auntie was 101, all the women in the family have lived a long while so it may be the female genes.”

She also knits, enjoys the theatre and keeps her brain active by reading and doing sudoku and is hoping to travel to Spain again next year.