Former pub landlady celebrates 102nd birthday

Henrietta Harper celebrated her 102nd birthday at Alexander Residential Home. (d03051209)

Henrietta Harper celebrated her 102nd birthday at Alexander Residential Home. (d03051209)

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A woman who lived through two world wars and almost all of the 19th century celebrated her 102nd birthday at the weekend.

Working up until she was nearly 90 years old, Henrietta Harper was once a landlady of the Sportsman Inn and now lives in the Alexander Care Home at Elland Road.

When she turned 100 she told the Observer & Advertiser: “They all want to know how I have got to 100 and what I say is, there is no secret, it’s good food and all my tablets.”

Mrs Harper was born in Pontefract in 1912 and during the Second World War she worked at the Yorkshire Copper Works making bullets and bomb components.

Care home manager Wendy, said: “She is very young at heart and doesn’t look much older in her face either. She has a very quirky sense of humour as well.”

She married twice, the first time to William Smith and the second time to Bill Harper.

She has four children Ben, Bill, Pat and Naomi, nine grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

Mrs Harper ran the Sportsman Inn on Hunger Hill with her second husband after working in a number of other jobs including running a sweet shop in Beeston, working in a fish and chip shop and at Woolworths.

Even at the age of 71 she was still working at a bakery on Dewsbury Road getting deliveries ready for the next day. Eventually she did retire after 18 years, this was after she had retired form other jobs three times before.

One thing that has kept her healthy is she never smoked and rarely drank, sometimes having a small sherry despite being a landlady in a string of pubs in the Leeds area.

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