One of Teesdale’s best known residents has reached a wonderful landmark birthday.
Greta Townson, who lives at the Charles Dickens Lodge, has celebrated her 100th birthday, and received a telegram to mark the occasion from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
A councillor for more than 25 years on the former Teesdale District Council, Greta became the first woman Alderman in the area,
Greta was born in Shildon in 1916, and twice met the Queen at Buckingham Palace garden parties.
She said: “I’ve always been in public life. This is something my father brought us up to respect and take part in.”
And on reaching the three figure mark, Greta added: “It’s the luck of the draw and must be in the genes as my great grand parents lived well into their 90s.”
A surprise visitor to see Greta was the Chairman of Durham County Council, Cllr Jan Blakey, who said: “What a lovely lady. Greta’s had a wonderful life and regaled us with some wonderful tales.”
Greta was a member and twice president of Bishop Auckland Branch Inner Wheel and was the International Chairman of Inner Wheel while she ran Bishop Auckland and District, Save the Children Fund.
In her working life, Greta was a buyer for Doggart’s in Bishop Auckland and later at Bishop Auckland Post Office.
Greta’s first husband was former Squadron Leader, Harry Brunskill, who was awarded the DFC for flying Wellington and Lancaster bombers.
Harry also owned the Favourite Direct and TMS Bus company along with Brunskill Haulage Contractors.
Her second husband Joseph Townson, was a farmer at Emmerson House Farm at Hilton, near Gainford.
After moving elsewhere in Gainford, Greta moved to Charles Dickens Lodge in Barnard Castle, seven years ago.
Greta has a daughter, Anne Massey, and two grandchildren Ben and Greg along with great grandchildren Sonny and Kit.