110-year-old Kathleen delighted to receive her first card from the King

Knowle Park resident Kathleen Shaw, has just celebrated her 110th birthday with friends and family.

She is the 2nd oldest individual in Surrey (15th oldest in the UK).

Kathleen celebrated her birthday on Friday, 4th August with family visiting from all over England and the USA. Guests including her fellow residents, joined her in small groups at a time enjoying afternoon tea and birthday cake.

Local pianist, Mary, entertained guests with a range of classical pieces. Kathleen’s granddaughter Portia performed her own piano and vocal composition based on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, residents were enthralled by her take on the tale and incredible vocals.

Having received six cards from the Queen over the last few years, Kathleen was thrilled to open her first from King Charles III.

Originally from Grantham in Lincolnshire, Kathleen moved down to Surrey to become a secretary for the board of London Buses and has remained in the county ever since.

Kathleen moved into Knowle Park in July 2018, where she keeps herself busy and active. She enjoys regular walks and can be persuaded to do a little dance when her favourite entertainer, Simon, is visiting.

Kathleen likes to play a little on the piano but as she cannot see very well, plays “the little Chopsticks tune” that she knows by heart. She also has featured in the home’s pantomime production of Snow White, where she played the magic mirror, thoroughly enjoying her line, “Old?… I’m only 108 you know dear!”

She is also very popular with children from Cranleigh School, who visit the home weekly as part of their voluntary action group. The children love her ‘words of wisdom’ and when she tells them about her memories of incredible things like the Doodlebugs flying over during the war, and how her parents would play the piano in the evening to get her and her sister to sleep.

When asked what the secret to a long and healthy life is, Kathleen replied, “eating broccoli and carrots”.

Louise Taylor, Wellbeing Coordinator described Kathleen as “a truly marvellous, charismatic and charming lady.”