Sheffield’s May is an independent lady – at 104

Friend Laurel Sutcliffe with May Holmes celebrating her 104th birthday at Loxley Park Nursing Home
Friend Laurel Sutcliffe with May Holmes celebrating her 104th birthday at Loxley Park Nursing Home

IT was the year of the last London Olympics, the year the first passenger flight took to the skies and the year Mothers’ Day was celebrated for the first time.

It was also the year a very special Star reader was born – 1908.

May Holmes, recently celebrated her 104th birthday surrounded by friends and staff at Loxley Park Care Home in Loxley, Sheffield, where she spends her holidays.

Sprightly May, who lives in Hillsborough, is still living independently and has lived at the same address in Hawksley Avenue, Hillsborough, for more than 90 years.

Although she had a sad and difficult start to her life, May’s fortunes changed when she was 13.

As a child she had been put in a children’s home by her father because he worked away and he and her mother had split up.

But when she was 13, May was adopted and moved to the address in Hawksley Avenue, where she lives to this day.

Loxley Park’s activities and events manager Caroline Slaughter said: “May spent most of her working life as a domestic, which she enjoyed.

“Her hobbies were walking, painting and wildlife. She loved living close to open countryside.

“She still keeps up with current affairs, and is a truly happy person who lives life minute by minute.”

Her colleague Amy Walker said little was known about May’s family circumstances but she didn’t have any living relatives and had never married or had children.

But May’s close friend Laurel Sutcliffe came along for the party.

Amy said: “We had a party for her and a cake and we all sang Happy Birthday.

“We also had some songs performed for May by Alan Turner, who is a singer from Barnsley. He was in The X Factor in 2008 and got to the judges’ houses.”

Amy added: “May is absolutely lovely. She loves

children and wildlife but she’s quite private and doesn’t talk about herself.

“She told me the reason she has lived so long is because she doesn’t drink liquids. She very rarely has a drink at all and when she does it’s just half a cup of tea.”

May goes to Loxley Park for short holiday breaks for a couple of days every other week.

Caroline said: “This recharges her batteries and enables her to continue living at home – she always says ‘I’m so lucky to have Loxley Park on my doorstep’.”

Amy added: “She loves it here and we love having her – she’s coming back for Christmas.”

It happened in 1908:

* Robert Baden-Powell started the Scout movement;

* London hosted the Olympics for the first time;

* Henry Ford produced his first Model T car;

* American outlaw Butch Cassidy was killed;

* William Hartnell, the first actor to play the Doctor in cult TV show Doctor Who, was born.