Chip shop centenarian
Date published: 13 July 2015
LILIAN Grundy, who witnessed the doodlebug bomb hitting Oldham in the Second World War, turned 100 yesterday.
Lilian, who travelled on the Metrolink for the first time this year, doesn’t think she is particularly old though as she has a sister-in-law in Australia who is 104.
Lilian is fairly well known locally, as she and her husband Harry ran Grundy’s fish and chip shop on Ashton Road from 1939 until 1970.
After Harry died in 1970, Lilian worked as an adviser at the Citizens’ Advice Bureau in Union street for around eight years in the 1970s.
Lilian has lived in Moorside since 1970, she never had children but has always had pets.
When asked what her secret to good health is, Lilian said: “I must have a good doctor. I think my secret really must be that I do what I’m told. If the doctor tells me to do something, I do it.”
Lilian was born on Roundthorn Road, Oldham, the eldest of three sisters, one of whom is Edith Pontefract who is still going strong. The middle sister was Nellie who died in 2007.
Her husband served in the Middle East during the Second World War, and Lilian had to endure a long period without any news of his safety.
In his absence, Lilian ran the fish and chip shop on her own although, due to food shortages, it was closed for much of the war.
Lilian was visiting her mother in Roundthorn Road on Christmas Eve, 1944, when she clearly saw the doodlebug bomb near their house.
Janice Reeve, Lilian’s niece, said: “It blew out all the windows in that part of Roundthorn Road when it came down just the other side of the Lows, destroying a row of houses on Abbeyhills Road killing many residents.
“At the time, her younger sister Edith was attending a party on Abbeyhills Road. Fortunately the house where Edith was escaped the devastation.”
Lilian celebrated with a party at the White Hart Inn, Lydgate, yesterday.