Falkirk-born woman who ran Brightons drapery firm unfazed by turning 100

Elizabeth Fraser (front, second from left) was joined by her son Ron (front, middle), his wife Hilary (front, far right) and several other friends and family members on her 100th birthday. Picture: Michael Gillen
Elizabeth Fraser (front, second from left) was joined by her son Ron (front, middle), his wife Hilary (front, far right) and several other friends and family members on her 100th birthday. Picture: Michael Gillen

A centenarian who ran her own drapery business until the age of 67 has insisted her 100th is “just another day”.

Elizabeth Fraser was joined by family and friends at Grahamston House Care Home in Falkirk last Friday as staff held a big birthday bash to celebrate the occasion.

While she was delighted to be surrounded by her nearest and dearest, including good friend Irene McMeechan, the Falkirk-born birthday girl laughed off the idea she had achieved something significant.

When asked how it felt to have reached her three-figure age, Elizabeth said: “It’s alright! I don’t think anything of it, it’s just another day to me.”

Born on September 14, 1918 at her family’s home in Thornhill Road, she was the youngest of six children.

Elizabeth left Comely Park School at the age of 14 to begin working at famous Falkirk book-binding firm Dunn and Wilson where she operated the guillotine.

She will be well-known to many in the area after starting up her own business — E. Fraser Draper — on Main Street, Brightons in the 1950s.

Her commitment to the business was evidenced by the fact Elizabeth moved into a home next door with her late husband Allan, who died in 1965, and only child Ron following a spell living in Brightons’ Union Terrace.

Away from her work, the mother-of-one spent much of her spare time in the great outdoors with walking trips to places such as Dollar Glen and caravan holidays at Loch Lubnaig and Crail among the highlights. Looking after her two Labradors and knitting were other ways Elizabeth liked to pass the time.

A grandmother to Ron’s daughters Rosalind (29) and Eleanor (28), she also became a great-grandmother six weeks ago when Rosalind had a baby boy.

Once Elizabeth eventually called time on her working days she opted to settle into retirement life in Kenmore Avenue, Polmont, before moving into Grahamston House two years ago.

Her son Ron (74) cites his mum’s healthy lifestyle choices — Elizabeth was never a drinker or a smoker — as the reason for her reaching her 100th.

He also thanked staff at Grahamston House for their support and said: “We really appreciate the way that she’s looked after.

“The staff are excellent. They’re so kind and professional.”