He survived The Blitz, hiding in a subway station and a plane crashed through the roof of his house.
Now Bridie Taylor, who worked in an airplane factory office and at a supermarket checkout, has just celebrated her centenary.
Bridie lives at home in Stretford, Manchester, and is looked after by her son Paul.
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His 100th birthday was celebrated on January 10 and his house is littered with cards from well-wishers, including one from the Queen and a letter from the President of Ireland.
Originally from Kiltimagh, County Mayo, Ireland, Bridie was born on January 10, 1922.
He moved to London on October 6, 1943, before heading to Manchester to join his brothers and work in a supermarket at Seymour Grove in Old Trafford.
Recalling how she lived through the Blitz, Bridie told the Manchester Evening News about surviving her house being bombed.
After a night of dancing, Bridie walked out of the ballroom to find that her house had been hit by a plane that had flown out of the sky.
She said: “It was very scary, our house was bombed where we rented, but we were outside, me and my friend.
“We were in a dance hall, we went out and a bomb had fallen.
“It was a flat roof on the house we were in, and they found parts of the plane on the roof where it had been hit.
“A friend went home [to Ireland] because he was afraid, every time the anti-aircraft siren sounded, he would go under a table. I’d say ‘that won’t save you, the table’.”
Bridie says she didn’t mind having to sleep in a subway station during the air raids, as it would be a night of music and camaraderie.
She said: “They were all happy people, if not scared.
“But compared to the coronavirus, I think we had a better time.
“You could talk to your neighbor, you could go into her house, you know, when they put restrictions in here, you can’t.
“You had to have blackout curtains, but I’d rather have that than the current situation.”
She added: “Eventually, it ended and that was fantastic.”
Bridie described the ce
“The celebrations were street parties and in the west end of London, you couldn’t move.
“Where I lived, they were a lovely couple and my friend from Ireland came too, they both adopted us.
“He and the next door neighbor made an Anderson shelter, where they dug.
“You got ready for work the night before and then you slept in the shelter all night.
“Oh, I hated it, I couldn’t sleep.”
This keep going attitude is part of what Bridie believes is the secret to a long life:
Don’t bother anyone, be nice to your neighbors, and frankly ‘get on with it’.
She added: “I never thought for a moment that I would make it to 100, when my granddaughters put that in there I kept looking at it and thinking I’m not 100 but I was.”
Bridie has six grandchildren and a great-grandchild and for her birthday she did not ask for gifts and instead wanted donations to Children in Need.
However, a relative adopted a donkey on his behalf, which he found shocking.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.