Former Spalding pub landlady celebrates 100th birthday

Mary Ayre on her 100th Birthday  with all her family.
Mary Ayre on her 100th Birthday with all her family.
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A former Spalding landlady enjoyed a family get-together to mark her 100th birthday at the town’s Cedar Falls Care Home.

Mary Ayre was given the kind of attention she used to offer regulars at The Plough Inn on Bourne Road, which she ran with husband, Jimmy, for 35 years from the 1960s.

Everyone at Cedar Falls calls my mum “The Queen” and when the postlady came with the birthday card from Her Majesty, Mum said ‘that’s me on the front’

Christine Stokes, of Spalding, daughter of centenarian Mary Ayre

Born in Nottingham during the final year of World War 1, Mary was the youngest of five children and the only one to get into selective education.

Christine Stokes, of Ambleside Drive, Spalding, Mary’s only daughter, said: “When Mum left school, she went to work at the John Player cigarette factory in Nottingham where she worked as a leaf stripper.

“After a few years, she was moved up the career ladder to be an overlooker (supervisor) where she checked everyone’s work.

“At the same time, Mum played the trumpet in the John Player band before our family came to Spalding in 1962.

“We moved into The Plough Inn and while we were at the pub, Mum and Dad did a lot for the elderly by taking them on trips and putting on Christmas parties.

“Mum and Dad also did a lot for the community when they lived at The Plough and people still remember them from their days at the pub.”

Mary shared her special day with five generations of her family, including Christine and some of her four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchild.

Christine said: “Everyone at Cedar Falls calls my mum “The Queen” and when the postlady came with the birthday card from Her Majesty, the staff opened it for Mum who said ‘that’s me on the front of the card’.”