Falkirk woman is third to make a century

Jean Caulder celebrates her 100th birthday
Jean Caulder celebrates her 100th birthday

Reaching the age of 100 is certainly in the genes for one Falkirk woman.

Jean Calder (nee Carmichael) celebrated a century of birthdays on Saturday ... becoming the third person in her family to mark the milestone.

Her sisters Eleanor and Jenny lived until 102 and 101 respectively.

Jean, who now stays at Airthrey Care Nursing Home in Airth also received her third telegram from the Queen after Her Majesty had already marked her diamond and 65th wedding anniversaries with goodwill messages.

And daughter Mary Craig (74), from Cowie, said her mum is still ready to party despite her age.

She said: “She told me she wanted a big celebration for her 100th so that’s what we gave her.

‘‘Her granddaughter Jayne came all the way from South Africa as a surprise too, which she loved. She couldn’t believe it.

“She had a brilliant time and the family would like to thank the staff at Airthrey and everyone for their presents and flowers.”

Jean moved to the Airth home after chasing a burglar when she was 93.

Mary added: “The burglar got two years in prison but the incident at her house in Windsor Road, Bantaskine, took away her confidence about living alone.”

Jean is one of seven sisters and three brothers who lived in the Braes area before moving to Pencaitland, East Lothian, shortly after the Redding Pit Disaster in 1923.

She went into service after leaving school and was a maid in Morningside, Edinburgh, before meeting husband Willie, an engineer at East Lothian’s Glenkinchie Distillery when she was 21.

After the war years the couple moved to Camelon and Willie worked in the Rosebank Distillery and then British Aluminium in Bainsford.

They had three children. Son Jim sadly died as a baby and their other son Allan passed away in April this year aged 71. Willie died in 1999, aged 90.

Jean now has five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

So what’s been the secret of a long life for Jean?

“All of her family have lived well, it runs on the Carmichael side,’’ said Mary. ‘‘A few of them lived well into their 90s and, as well as Eleanor and Jenny, my gran was in her late 80s.”

“Allan passing away this year was very hard for all the family but she has had a very happy life.

‘‘My mum and dad enjoyed holidays in Spain and sequence dancing in Dollar Park many moons ago.

“She said one of the highlights of her life was going to South Africa to visit family there.

‘‘She was 85 at the time and my dad was nearly 90. She would love to go back.”