Bessie shows you’re never too old to learn

Bessie Banks celebrating her 100th Birthday at home in Lydgate, Todmorden.
Bessie Banks celebrating her 100th Birthday at home in Lydgate, Todmorden.

A Todmorden centenarian is proving that age is no barrier to learning how to use new technology and the latest modern gadgets.

Bessie Banks, of Churchill Street, Lydgate, celebrated her 100th birthday on Friday, April 26.

Among the cards on her coffee table were an iPad and mobile phone as she responded to birthday greetings.

Bessie decided in her eighties that she would like to learn how to use a computer, so she bought a desktop PC.

She then moved on to a laptop commputer and recently purchased an iPad.

“I like technology,” she said. “It keeps my brain going.

“I have an iPad and a mobile phone but I don’t think I can take in Facebook!”

Bessie, who was a typist, plays sudoku and wordfeud, an online scrabble game which allows her to play against people from all around the world.

“I was used to typing so the keyboard was no worry,” she said.

“The only worry was if I was going to wipe everything by clicking the wrong button.”

Bessie celebrated her birthday with an open house on Saturday, when family and friends called round to see her.

She was delighted to receive a card from the Queen.

“That was great. It made me feel quite important,” she said.

Bessie has lived in Todmorden for 14 years.

She was a resident in Dartford, Kent, until she retired aged 65. She moved to Ripon, where she lived for more than 20 years, before arriving in Todmorden.

She was married to her husband Fred for 56 years until he passed away.

They met at a dance at the YMCA Hall in Dartford when she was 19 and he was 21.

Fred was a compositor and during World War Two he was a fireman with the London Fire Brigade.

Bessie is one of two children. Her younger brother Robert died 20 years ago.

She has a daughter, Ann.

Bessie used to be an active member of the Liberal party in her younger days and was secretary of the Dartford branch.

She is a keen knitter.