A HEREFORD woman will be marking a very special birthday next week. 

Jean Marion Wells will be celebrating her 100th birthday on April 26. 

Born in Leicester, Mrs Wells initially worked in Adderley department store and worked in pots. However, her granddaughter, Claire Harrison said she moved to linen after smashing a Susie Cooper teapot. 

Mrs Wells later joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) and learned to become a non-technical driver in Wales, driving anything from cars to lorries.


Moves to Bircham in Norfolk, Silverstone in Northamptonshire, and Lossiemouth in Scotland, then followed.

"She met my grandad at the Coop Youth Club in Leicester at 13 and started going out as a crowd," said Ms Harrison. 

"When they were each on leave they went out. He was a pilot in the RAF, and when he came home from Canada they went out and got married in 1944.

"They lived with parents and then moved to Oadby when their first daughter was one year old. 

"She did a bit of sewing to earn extra money went to night school and did City and Guild dressmaking, then tailoring at an advanced level.

"She did cleaning jobs to earn enough money for classes. She was among the top three in the Midlands and I believe was in a TV episode. She even showed a piece of her work at St Paul's Cathedral.

"Once a week she would go to London and study with Beryl Dean, one of the top embroiderers in the country. She also got her teaching certificate and started teaching embroidery all over the country."

Since moving to Hereford, Mrs Wells worked at Mansel Lacy and Credenhill churches, and designed church vestments for all religious and masonic lodges, which she did well into her 90s.

Mrs Wells, who has three children, seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, will be celebrating her special day with small gathering with her family and friends, before a bigger party next Saturday.