Hilsea's Noreen Lane had a happy 100th birthday despite being alone in lockdown

Although she spent her birthday on her own, Noreen Lane says she didn’t stop chatting.

Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 2:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 2:32 pm
Noreen Lane celebrates her 100th birthday. Picture: Contributed

Throughout her special day on April 29, the birthday girl’s phone was ringing off the hook with family, friends and neighbours sending their best wishes.

Born to Gwen and Ted Pickering in 1920, Noreen grew up in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, with her sister.

It was in her early twenties that she met Ken Lane, her future husband, who was in the RAF.

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Noreen Lane celebrates her 100th birthday. Picture: Contributed

Noreen, who lives in Hilsea, says: ‘We’d only been dating six months when he asked me to marry him. I’ve still got my engagement ring.’

The couple married on October 12, 1942, at Long Bennington Church, Lincolnshire.

‘I was working at a local cafe before we got married. We had our reception there afterwards and lots of our friends and family came,’ adds Noreen.

The couple had their only daughter Ann in 1944 and was the reason they were drawn to the south coast.

Noreen explains: ‘My daughter was living in Portsmouth and saw an advert for a motor mechanic.

‘We always wanted to move down south.

‘The garage in Havant sent someone up to interview Ken in his lunch break and he got the job. He went down south while I sold our house and packed up in Lincolnshire.’

The Lanes loved to explore the area when they arrived in 1970, visiting places such as Brighton, Bognor and the Isle of Wight.

Noreen smiles and says: ‘I don’t feel like I'm 100.

‘I’ve had a very happy life. Even though I have spent my birthday on my own, I have had lots of phone calls and my neighbours have wished me a happy birthday.

‘I do miss talking to people, so I’m looking forward to having a chat with my friends when I go back to my clubs.

‘But you have to always try and stay happy and pick yourself up.’