'Amazing' Dorothy Crook marks her 100th birthday at Canoe Lake joined by dozens

‘Caring’ Dorothy Crook marked her 100th birthday at Canoe Lake surrounded by dozens of friends and family.

By Hollie Busby
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 12:19 pm

The family brood of about 65 joined Dorothy, from Southsea, at the grounds by the seafront on May 8 – with all 18 of her grandchildren by her side.

A trooper, Dorothy has defeated the odds by beating pneumonia and currently has limited sight left. Despite having ‘loads of falls’ which have resulted in stitches in her head, daughter Valerie Cooper says she’s come through it every time and that her mum is nothing less than ‘amazing’.

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Portsmouth resident Dorothy Crook marked her 100th Birthday on Sunday afternoon with a huge family gathering at Canoe Lake in Southsea. Pictured - Dorothy Crook, 100, with her letter from the Queen. Pictures by Alex Shute

Speaking on the special day, Valerie says: ‘She was delighted.

‘One of my daughters walked her round The Rose Gardens. That's what she wanted.

‘It’s the first time she’s been out this year.

‘A few weeks ago, she was only given a few weeks to live. She's such a strong woman.’

Portsmouth resident Dorothy Crook marked her 100th Birthday on Sunday afternoon with a huge family gathering at Canoe Lake in Southsea. Pictured - Dorothy Crook, 100, with her extended family. Pictures by Alex Shute

A 100 balloon display decorated the grounds, with a cake, a birthday buffet and a celebratory drink for all, not forgetting the congratulatory card from the Queen.

Speaking on her mum reaching 100, Valerie says: ‘It’s amazing really. I didn’t think she’d reach it but she has and I’m really glad she has.’

Dorothy was born on May 8 1922. The youngest of six children, Valerie had a happy childhood and she’s stayed in the same house since she was one.

A kind-hearted and quiet lady, Dorothy has always liked her home comforts and worked as a cleaner doing jobs for residents across the city.

Portsmouth resident Dorothy Crook marked her 100th Birthday on Sunday afternoon with a huge family gathering at Canoe Lake in Southsea. Pictured - Dorothy Crook, 100, with her children, Valerie Cooper, Pamela Hackett, Jackie Robinson and Colin Crook. Pictures by Alex Shute

She married her husband Horace, a stoker in the navy, in Portsmouth in March 1942, after meeting at the Gaiety Cinema in Southsea.

Nine months after the happy couple tied the knot, the pair had their first child, Valerie. They went on to have four more children, Pamela, Terrence, Colin and Jackie.

Sadly, her husband died aged 55, so Dorothy has managed on her own with the support of her loving family and currently is gets help from carers.

Valerie says her mother’s secret to longevity is being stubborn.

Portsmouth resident Dorothy Crook marked her 100th Birthday on Sunday afternoon with a huge family gathering at Canoe Lake in Southsea. Pictured - Dorothy Crook, 100, with her letter from the Queen. Pictures by Alex Shute

‘She’s really stubborn and she’s never drank,’ she says.

‘She never went dancing or anything like that. She’s a quiet lady and quite a caring person and used to be well organised. She likes to get every single person a present at Christmas time.’

She adds: ‘It was amazing to see her. Everyone was so excited that she was there and made it.’