Sheffield woman, aged 105, is ‘on top of the world’

Frances Furniss surrounded by her family as she celebrates her 105th birthday
Frances Furniss surrounded by her family as she celebrates her 105th birthday

A Sheffield woman who celebrated her 105th birthday last week said: “I feel on top of the world.”

Frances Furniss was surrounded by family and friends in the Hartwell Care Home, Ecclesfield, as she marked her incredible milestone.

One of five daughters, Frances was born on July 28, 1911, in Crookes and later attended the former Western Road School.

The nan-of-three, who shared jokes and special memories with loved ones during her birthday celebration, said: “The only thing I liked about school was the singing. Our teachers weren’t very nice, if you didn’t know your 3 Rs, you were in trouble.”

Mischievously, and to bursts of laughter from her family, she added: “When I didn’t have a handkerchief I’d wipe my nose on my underskirt!”

During retirement, Frances spent her time taking up embroidery and painting classes alongside long-time friend, Gladys Lawler, aged 94, at the Central Library in Sheffield.

Her son Peter, aged 76. fondly boasted of the professional standard of his mum’s embroidery, how she would pick a pattern out from carpets and replicate it perfectly into an ‘absolutely stunning’ bedspread.

In her 80s, Frances was a keen swimmer, joining a swimming club at Ponds Forge. Peter said: “I was shocked when I found out about her 10 yard certificate.”

Frances told a number of stories at her party, including the time she met a well-known band. She said: “One time, we were out and there were fellas singing next to us.

“We took no notice and it turned out to be the Beatles! We didn’t know who they were then – they were just a nuisance to us.”

Presents, cakes and cards surrounded the 105-year-old at the birthday gathering, including a card from the Queen.

When a family member asked for a photograph with the birthday girl, a cheeky Frances replied: “Why would you want a picture with me, I’ll break your camera!”