Oldest resident Jane, 109, dies at nursing home

Jane Baldwin celebrating her 109th birthday at the Swillbrook Nursing Home in Catforth, near Preston, with, from left, her grandaughter Cath Parker and great grandaughter Isobel Stothert
Jane Baldwin celebrating her 109th birthday at the Swillbrook Nursing Home in Catforth, near Preston, with, from left, her grandaughter Cath Parker and great grandaughter Isobel Stothert

ONE of the area’s oldest residents has died – just weeks after celebrating her 109th birthday.

Great-grandmother Jane Baldwin put her longevity down to a nice cup of tea – preferably with a tot of rum in it – and the occasional glass of stout.

The former silk weaver lived independently at home until 18 months ago when she moved to Swillbrook House in Catforth.

Granddaughter Cath Parker said: “I was concerned that the move would be too much for her, but she surprised us all by settling in quickly. She never once asked to go back home.”

Despite her age, Jane remained mentally sharp and was at her happiest recalling stories from her younger days to her three great-grand- children.

Until last year she was still baking her own cakes and was also a keen knitter and crocheter.

Cath said: “I know it sounds silly, but her death still came as a shock to us, because she hadn’t been ill.

“The nursing home staff had been in her bedroom to take her morning cup of tea, with the usual drop of rum in it, and to have a chat, and she seemed fine.” Jane died the same morning at the home. Cath said: “She hadn’t called for help, so we can only assume that she died peacefully without any pain.”

Born Jane Fiddler in 1902, a Preston Guild year, her family hoped she would live to see next year’s Guild celebrations and to mark her own 110th birthday.

She lived through two world wars, working in a mill in Parker Street, Ashton, from the age of 13.

In 1932 she married Bernard Baldwin, a joiner and builder whose company, Baldwin Brothers, built a number of houses in Lane Ends and Fulwood.

The couple lived in Ashton for many years and had two children, Bernard and Maureen, both of whom Jane survived, one grand-daughter, Cath, and three great grand-children, Isobel, 26, Joe, 20, and John, 15.