A GREAT-GREAT GRANNY from Queensferry had one hundred reasons to celebrate this week.
Kathleen (Kit) Redpath, who has lived in Queensferry for over 70 years, shared her 100th birthday with family and friends at Queensferry Bowling Club.
When the Journal and Gazette caught up with the centenarian on her big day (Monday) at her Walker Drive home, she had just received her greetings card from The Queen as well as dozens from well-wishers.
Kit said: “I am looking forward to my party but I won’t be touching any alcohol.”
A non-drinker and non-smoker, Kit said her motto for long life has been to “not argue, don’t worry and to be just happy with life.”
Kit said she enjoys being independent, likes living in her home of 50 years and is still very patriotic about England.
Born in Portsmouth, she spent her early life working as a nurse. She married and had three children, two of whom died as infants. Kit moved to Scotland with daughter Mary in the 1940s to be close to her sister Connie, who had married local man Jimmy Smith.
It was while living in neighbouring Inchgarvie Park she met Bob Redpath, a groundsman at the Butlaw Estate. They married and relocated to their Walker Drive home.
Kit continued nursing and remained active as a home cleaner up until her late 60s. Bob died in 1983, aged 82.
Her daughter Mary Hamblin (76) drops in to see every day, while granddaughter Audrey Green regularly takes her on holiday to Argyll where she likes nothing better than to enjoy a fish supper still wrapped in newspaper.
Kit’s family also includes daughter Mary, five grand children and eight great-grandchildren.
The merger of the head teacher posts of Blackness Primary and Grange Primary school in Bo’ness is set to go through for the start of the new school year, the Journal and Gazette understands.
However, the manner in which the decision was made has angered parents of Blackness pupils.
A member of the parent council said: “It is not so much the decision that has been reached that we have issue with, it’s more to do with the lack of consultation that we have had.”
The parents had hoped a period of consultation would have been observed but according to them, this had not happened.
“We were asked to attend a meeting with Andrew Sutherland, the director of education for Falkirk Council, and we didn’t really know what to expect,” the parent said.
“We thought there would be a discussion on the future of the schools but we were told this was happening from August this year.”
The news follows Falkirk Council’s decision to cut costs and find more effective ways to manage their smaller schools.
Plans would see one of the current heads adopt the role of joint head for one year, with the second head taking on a deputy role, with a three year salary plan in place for both.
The position will filled permanently after 12 months.
Councillor Ann Ritchie said: “My understanding was there was going to be a consultation period when the new school term begins in August and once the consultation period was finished the decision would be mad.
‘‘As there aren’t going to be any savings in the three years period, I feel the administration should have left both school’s the way they are at present.
Alan Nimmo, Falkirk Council’s education spokesman said: “This decision has been taken as it is the most cost effective way. There will be long and short term financial benefits and they will increase when more schools become involved.
‘‘The salaries will be graded nationally and we will work within those budgets. We like to consult with parents where appropriate, and we really want them to be on board with the position merger. We don’t want school closures.”