Daredevil Wortley resident turns 100 – and celebrates in style

Wortley centenarian May Moss.

By Katherine Turner

Wortley great grandma May Moss, who many locals know as Nana May, achieved an amazing milestone on 1 May, when she turned 100 years old.

May, who has lived her whole life in West Leeds, celebrated with family and friends and attributes her longevity to luck, keeping fit, a good sense of humour and enjoying a few treats.

May told WLD: “I have always done exercise. I was the netball captain and I did ballroom dancing, although my husband Reg didn’t really like dancing. We had a happy marriage and he passed away at age 84.

“I have done dancing, yoga, walked with a walking group at Farnley Cricket Club and did running competitions at the TV Harrison ground where I could beat all the boys except one.”

May enjoys a glass of prosecco or a Baileys and has a sweet tooth, her favourite being a Kitkat bar.

Gemma Craven, May’s granddaughter, said: “We celebrated by having a party at St John’s with food, live music and decorations. All her church friends and friends from the many groups that she goes to were there. Helping Hands celebrated with her at her group, the Farnley walking group celebrated with her, they had food, balloons and cards. On her actual birthday we went to The Greyhound pub for tea.”

As well as a week of celebrations May was surprised when her two granddaughters who live abroad came home to celebrate with her.

May has achieved a lot over her 100 years. She has three grandchildren; Gemma, Hayley and Abby and two great grandchildren, Isla and Fern. When she turned 90, May raised over £3,500 for Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity by completing a skydive, which is an amazing achievement. May chose this charity as it is very close to her heart after her daughter, Linda died from a brain tumour at age 44.

A lot has changed since May was born in 1924 where George V was on the throne, James Ramsay MacDonald was the first Labour Prime Minister and the country was still recovering from the First World War and the Spanish flu pandemic.

Growing up May’s father died at age 28 from Consumption, or Tuberculosis as it is more commonly known, and talks of a time where unemployment was high: “People were poor, men were out of work, there was no money about, although the pubs were still full. Women weren’t working.”

Although May explained that she felt World War ll got women working and that they could be more independent and there was less poverty. Cars were very rare and everyone would run out and gather to watch if a car was in the neighbourhood.

As an only child May said that she wasn’t called up for dangerous war work: “As an only child I was allowed to stay at home, there were eight of us in the house, I remember the black-out curtains and when the sirens went we went into a cellar at the local shop.”

May did spend some time working at an RAF base near Middlesborough where she dated a Canadian man, she saw the war and “took it in my stride”.

As part of her birthday celebrations May selflessly raised £500 in lieu of gifts for Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity, again showing what a remarkable woman she is.

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