Many happy returns - Jean is 100 today!

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 06 November 2020

Meet Jean Sykes, who proudly celebrates her 100th birthday today.

Oldham’s Mayor, Ginny Alexander, sent Jean a special personal message, a card and flowers despite the lockdown, saying: “Sorry I can’t be with you to celebrate this very special birthday.”

Jean was born in Austerlands, attended school in Springhead and, as she grew up, she worked in the office, bookkeeping, at Eli Lees Coal Merchants.

Jean met James in 1942 at the Co-op Ballroom in Waterhead, where they were regulars at the Saturday night dances.

They married a year later at St James Church.

They have two children, Rodger and Elizabeth, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Jean and James lived at Temple Bar Farm, Dobcross, for 30 years, during which time James worked as a teacher at UMIST, Manchester. 

When they retired they moved to Delph and lived there for 10 years when Jim died.

Jean stayed in the same house and has lived as a widow there for 28 years.

Jean loved dancing and was a regular at Billingtons.

She also loved to travel and visited France, Italy, Yugoslavia, Egypt, Malta and Kenya.

She joined Saddleworth players and volunteered in the costume department for more than  25 years.

Said the Mayor: “Jean still enjoys reading the Saturday newspaper, keeping fully informed of world events, cooking and gardening - and still cha chas around the kitchen given half a chance.

 “I’m sending my love and best wishes on your special day.”

Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.