Keen crafter to celebrate her milestone day

Freda Dawson, who will celebrate her 100th birthday on September 20
Freda Dawson, who will celebrate her 100th birthday on September 20

A woman who was involved in the fashion business in the upper Calder Valley for many years will celebrate her 100th birthday on Friday.

Freda Dawson, who has lived in Todmorden for most of her life, will mark the milestone on September 20.

Born in Bacup, she moved to Todmorden with her family shortly after and was educated at Roomfield School.

From a young age, she took a keen interest in crafts, particularly crochet.

Her son Peter said: “She was a brilliant seamstress, especially making trousers.

“She could crochet, tat, anything with a needle and thread she could do.

“In her 60s, she was still going to night school to learn more about sewing and embroidery.”

Freda married her husband, Harry, on July 8, 1939, at Roomfield Baptist Church.

The couple lived at Doghouse Lane, Todmorden.

Harry was in the army and went away to war later that year.

Freda used to work up at a nearby school where she made trousers for the boys out of used coats and jackets.

Freda and Harry lived on Doghouse Lane until approximately 1945, when they moved to a grocers’ shop on Shore Road, Cornholme.

They both attended Vale Baptist Chapel, where they sang in the choir.

Peter said: “She had a lovely alto voice and he was a great baritone.

“They both sang solos.”

In 1953 they moved to Stoney Royd Lane, where they lived for 20 years before moving back to Doghouse Lane into the house next door to where they had lived previously.

During her career, Freda was manageress at Redman’s sewing shop and later at Waterside Clothing Company in Hebden Bridge.

When Harry died in 2000, Freda moved herself into a home shortly after.

She has two children - Peter and Maureen - four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Her family will visit to celebrate with her on Fri day.