Great-gran dies at grand age of 105

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n When Margaret was born in 1906, Liverpool were celebrating their second league title, an earthquake in San Francisco killed at least 3,000, with 225,000-300,000 left homeless, and American president Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a 105-year-old great-grandmother who was believed to be the oldest woman in Scarborough.

Margaret Barker died from a blocked bowel at Normanby House on Tuesday November 22.

Her son, Gerald, from East Ayton, described her as a “kind woman”, attributing her longevity to having a “good heart”.

Born in Leeds in 1906, she grew up incredibly close to her father Fredrick Baxter.

However, she was left devastated after he was killed in World War One.

Gerald said: “He went off to fight in the Somme, but he was gassed.

“He died in hospital in France, and it had a really big impact on her as she loved him very much.

“She used to talk a lot about him, and she talked about him right up to the very end.”

Upon reaching working age, like most people at the time in Leeds, she went to work at the mill.

She later moved to Doncaster where she met her future husband, who went on to fight in World War Two.

He survived the conflict, but the couple split up. Gerald said: “Like a lot of people who fought in the war he loved the freedom of going around the world, and he couldn’t take to coming back and settling in Doncaster.”

Margaret raised Gerald and daughter Amanda, and found work as a manicurist and as a dressmaker.

She went on to become a grandmother to Amanda and the late Simon, as well as a great-grandmother to Nicole and Danielle.

Her hobbies included painting, with her son saying that, until her age forced her to stop, she had considerable talent.

She was featured in the Evening News earlier this year as she celebrated her 105th birthday, proudly displaying her latest telegram from the Queen.

Emma Kendrick is the Care Manager at Normanby House, where Mrs Barker lived since she moved to Scarborough 10 years ago to be closer to her son.

She said: “She was lovely. She loved painting, especially flowers. She loved lavender.”

Mrs Barker had trouble with her hips, and by the end of her life she was confined to a wheelchair.

However, this didn’t stop her from mixing with other residents, with Emma adding: “She was a very outgoing person, and would come down and socialise with the others.

“Reaching that age is quite an achievement, and she will be missed by everyone here.”

A funeral was held yesterday at Woodlands Crematorium.

A request was made for donations made to Macmillan Cancer Support, and she also insisted that no dark clothing was to be worn at the service.