Former Land Girl celebrates 100th birthday with five generations of her family

Four Generations. Betty's 100th birthday with daughter Josie, granddaughter Maddy, and great granddaughter Isabella

A MUCH-loved Scottish woman has celebrated her 100th birthday in style surrounded by five generations of her family, including her great-great-grandchildren.

Centenarian Elizabeth (Betty) Taylor, who was part of the Land Army during World War II, spent her milestone birthday on 10 August at Meallmore’s Parklands Care Home in Alloa.

Betty was born Elizabeth Schot in 1923 in Edinburgh and spent her early years living in the Leith district of the city. The youngest of seven children, Betty remembers a wonderful childhood in a loving, charitable family that cooked meals for people in need in Edinburgh.

Following school, Betty joined the Women’s Land Army where she worked as an electric welder during the Second World War in Dundee.

After the conflict, Betty married Frank Muirhead in 1946 and they moved to Tillicoultry in Clackmannanshire. Together, they had four children – Dougie, Selma, Josie, and Billy. Sadly, Betty was widowed at 42 years old.

In 1977, when Betty was in her 50s, she married Jimmy Taylor and together they enjoyed many holidays. Betty always loved travelling, with a particular highlight being a venture across the Atlantic to New York on the Queen Elizabeth 2 ocean liner, returning to the UK by flying on Concorde. Her passion for adventure continued well into her later years when she went on a solo trip to New Zealand for six weeks at the age of 80.

Betty always put her children first, working around them. Prior to retiring, she had various jobs including waitressing, bartending, cleaning, and baking for a café in Dollar.

Betty officially retired when she was 60, but her work wasn’t done. She spent this period of her life looking after family – regularly caring for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren during the week, allowing family members to go out and work. With nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren, she remained a busy lady.

The great-great-grandmother remained in Tillicoultry for most of her adult life; she lived in sheltered housing in Alva before moving to Alloa’s Parklands Care Home in April 2021.

To mark the milestone, Betty had a 100th birthday party with family and fellow residents at Parklands. The home’s activity coordinator, Corri Walker, decorated the main lounge with rose gold decorations and balloons, and provided Betty with a birthday sash and badge. Betty’s favourite singer, Engelbert Humperdinck, was played all afternoon whilst party food, cakes, and drinks were served.

Dee Maltman, deputy care home manager of Parklands said: “Betty is a chatty and sociable lady and enjoys spending time with her fellow residents. She loves to tell the staff stories from her life and especially likes to talk about growing up with her mother and father. 

“It was a privilege to commemorate such a special day with Betty. Our other residents and staff had a wonderful time, and it was great to see the joy on her face as we celebrated. Betty’s children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren all joined her for this momentous day, which shows just how loved she is. It was an incredible occasion, and we were honoured to be part of it – and see the card from the King and Queen!”

Selma Jackson, Betty’s daughter said: “My mum has always been family-oriented, bringing up four children after my dad passed at a young age. Because of this, she has always been fiercely independent, and even continued to travel on the bus by herself well into her 90s!

“My mum moved to Parklands two years ago and settled in well. She is happy and very much enjoys the company of all at the care home. Parklands organised a fantastic birthday party and the staff made it so special for her. It was brilliant to be able to celebrate together and have such a lovely day.” Parklands is a purpose-built care home situated at 60 Alloa Park Drive and provides nursing care for older people and specialist services for people with dementia. It is run by leading care home provider, Meallmore Ltd.

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