Lanark great-great-grandmother celebrates her 100th birthday

Provost Ian McAllan, birthday girl Mrs Agnes Shankie and Deputy Lieutenant John McKenzie.
Provost Ian McAllan, birthday girl Mrs Agnes Shankie and Deputy Lieutenant John McKenzie.

A Lanark great-great grandmother has celebrated her 100th birthday with a street party organised by her neighbours.

Around 20 people, including family members, turned out for the celebrations of Agnes Shankie, of Smyllum Park. She was also visited by South Lanarkshire provost Ian McAllan and deputy lieutenant John McKenzie, who presented her with a card from the Queen.

The mother of two was born on June 15, 1917 at Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital, when newspaper headlines were focused on Britain’s victory in the Battle of Messines in Flanders, Belgium, during the First World War.

At the age of seven, she moved with her family to New Lanark, where she grew up with her late brother Alex and late sister Isa, both of whom she kept in close contact with throughout their lives.

Alex went on to join the Merchant Navy and later moved to Australia, but Isa stayed nearby, in Glasgow.

Agnes married her late husband Alex on July 14,1938, when she was 21 years old.

The couple went on to have two daughters, Margaret, born in 1948, and Catherine, in 1952. Catherine now lives with her mother in Lanark, but Margaret died in 2010.

When they were younger, Agnes and her husband enjoyed the outdoors and regularly took their bikes on camping trips.

They also enjoyed playing games of bowls, a sport which Agnes excelled in.

For most of her working life, she was an employee at one of the many cotton mills here, but when the mills began to close down in the late 1960s, she went on to work as a cleaner at Vogue Bingo Hall.

Agnes now enjoys spending time with her four grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Catherine said: “It was a very good party, and she was overwhelmed really with it all.

“It was such a lovely surprise for her.

“It was lovely of the neighbours to arrange it, and it really showed the community spirit of the area.”