Barbara reaches 103 year milestone

050710  Barbara Ballantine 103rd birthday with provost tom kess and son David Barrett, linlithgow.
050710 Barbara Ballantine 103rd birthday with provost tom kess and son David Barrett, linlithgow.

Andy Murray may have stolen the limelight winning Wimbledon on Sunday but Linlithgow’s Barbara Ballantine reached her own impressive landmark, turning 103 last Friday.

Barbara was 26 years old when the last Brit to win the men’s championship, Fred Perry, lifted the famous trophy in 1936, and he hailed from Stockport where she also grew up.

Barbara was born on July 5, 1910, into a family of five sisters, and her chosen career was printing. Her claim to fame was that she was responsible for the gold leaf and binding of the Role of Remembrance in the War Memorial in Stockport. Three copies were made, with two kept in Stockport, and one given to Barbara.

She married Tom Barrett and had a son David, but following her husband’s death, she met and married Tom Ballantine, and the couple moved to Mill Road, Linlithgow Bridge in 1986.

Tom passed away nine years ago in 2004, and Barbara relocated to Linlithgow Nursing Home on St Ninian’s Road in 2009. Barbara’s son David (71) lives in Eastbourne but he visits his mother every three to four weeks.

He said: “My mother is now the oldest in the care home and still going strong. She enjoys singing songs like All Things Bright and Beautiful and she loved her birthday party on Friday and seeing all the family.”

Barbara now has three grandchildren - Susan, Gareth and Michael, and four great grandchildren Amelia (6), Rose (5), Franscesca (2) and recent arrival two-week-old Amy.

Son David added: “She has kept better this year and she always likes an Oliphants cream cake! She also enjoys her tennis and she was pleased with Andy’s win on Sunday.”

After moving to Linlithgow, Barbara was a member of the Golden Oldies, Linlithgow Link, the 100 Club and the Lunch Club. On Friday, special guest Provost Tom Kerr also joined the birthday party at the nursing home.