A WELL-known Dales lady is the toast of the district after reaching the milestone birthday of 100 years on February 5.

Annie Lambert, of Horton-in-Ribblesdale, quietly celebrated the occasion over a two-day period with her close family and friends at her home in the village.

Annie was brought up at Hilary Hall at Burtersett near Hawes with her two sisters and two brothers.

Her father John Appleton was a farmer and after a few years at Burtersett the family moved to Cowdber Farm, near Kirkby Lonsdale, where Annie attended Tunstall school.

The Craven area then beckoned and the family moved to Clapdale Farm, at Clapham. Annie still enjoys a run out to the areas of all these former family homes where she can recall so many happy memories.

She attended Ingleton school whilst living at Clapdale and remembers the occasion when her mother, Ethel, ordered a huge new roll of Lino for the farmhouse. Alas there were no Hermes deliveries to the door in those days so the bulky cargo had to be carried from Clapham train station through the village - a journey of well over a mile.

Mum Ethel had one end of the roll under her arm and young Annie grappled with the other end. Annie’s only thought was “please don’t let anyone from school see me!”

A further move was then to Winshaw, at Ribblehead, and Annie began her working career as a maid at the big house Weather Cote, in Chapel-le-Dale. The local dances and cinema at Ingleton provided social enjoyment and she soon met local farmer Billy Lambert, of Selside Farm. They subsequently married and Annie worked hard over the years with her farmhouse chores and caring for the young stock, but she always had time to welcome family and friends for a Sunday tea or a general catch up.

Three children arrived in the mix, Audrey, John and Caroline.

Life was busy but Annie managed to occasionally have a shopping trip to Leeds or Carlisle on the train where she enjoyed seeing the new fashions. Her family says she still has an amazing fashion sense - everything must match; even the beads!

She remembers one such trip to Leeds with her youngest daughter who gleefully announced quite loudly on the way home: “Won’t Daddy be surprised with how much we’ve bought.” There were a few chuckles from their fellow passengers.

Billy and Annie moved with their daughters from Selside Farm to Rowe Cottage, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, when their son, John, married.

Annie had more free time now and enjoyed trips out around the Dales and Lakes and always found time to support any village events. She also enjoyed reading which gave her a lot of pleasure. Sadly, Billy died in 1989.

Grandchildren had by now begun to arrive which gave Annie much joy and she is surrounded by photographs of all seven of them in the comfortable home she shares with her eldest daughter, Audrey, who provides not only companionship but also amazing personal care.

More proud moments were to follow with the arrival of three great-grandchildren, Rosie, Katie, and Frank.

All the close family were able to visit over the weekend celebratory period and a video message was received from Annie’s younger brother, Jim, a mere ninety-five-years young.

Jim and wife Jean live on Hayling Island, in Hampshire, so a lengthy trip north was not possible for them.

They ended their special message by saying enjoy a drink - but don’t tell the vicar. Little did they know that the vicar, the Rev Stephen Dawson and a great friend of the family, was there listening to the message.

This did cause a laugh amongst the young ones who were also present at the time, particularly when their nan had earlier opened her special card from The Queen and thought it was from Elizabeth, a friend from Malham. Humorous moments which typify the sense of fun and laughter that have been two important things throughout Annie’s l00 years.

Nigh on 100 cards were received from all over the country and beyond including greetings from a great nephew in the USA.

It was a very special time for Annie, and she was thrilled with all the gifts, cards, and messages and conveys thanks to everyone for all their kindness.