A County Durham woman who built aeroplanes during the Second World War and worked as a barmaid into her late eighties has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Margaret Avery – born in Sunderland on 30th July, 1918 – worked in an aeroplane factory in Manchester during the War.

Despite helping to build many planes, Margaret never actually flew in one until she went on holiday to Benidorm with her daughter and nieces to celebrate her 80th birthday.

After World War II ended, Margaret met her husband, Jack Avery from Bishop Auckland, at a wedding. Jack and Margaret married in 1946, settled in Bishop Auckland and had a daughter, Catherine.

Over the years, Margaret worked as a housekeeper and as a barmaid in pubs and clubs. Her last job was at the Castle Hotel, Bishop Auckland, where she worked into her late eighties.

Margaret was married to Jack for 63 years, until Jack’s death in 2009. Margaret has two grandchildren, Claire and Graeme, and five great grandchildren.

Margaret enjoys bingo and was a regular for many years at the Hippodrome and Cockton Hill Club. She is also a member of Woodhouse Close Church, where she celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by friends and family.

For her birthday, Margaret received flowers from the chairman of Durham County Council, Cllr John Lethbridge, and from the mayor of Bishop Auckland, Cllr David Fleming.

Reverend Sarah Gill, of Woodside Close Church, said, “Margaret is a dedicated and valued member of Woodhouse Close Church and I would like to say thank you to everyone who helped make her birthday party special.”

“It was a privilege to host the party. The beautiful decorations, music, food and fellowship created such a special atmosphere.”

(The featured image shows Margaret Avery with her daughter Catherine, Cllr John Lethbridge, Cllr David Fleming and Reverend Sarah Gill.)

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