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22nd Sep, 2021

It’s Norah’s Ark as animals come to visit 103-year-old in care home

Aaron Wise 23rd Nov, 2017

AN ANIMAL loving resident at a Worcester care home celebrated her 103rd birthday surrounded by all creatures great and small.

Norah Harris marked her milestone birthday on Friday with a ‘Norah’s Ark’ themed celebration, at Sanctuary Care’s Juniper House Residential Care Home, in St John’s.

Having spent her 100th birthday at West Midland Safari Park, the team at Juniper decided to bring the wildlife to Norah this year, in the comfort of the Oak View Way home.

Norah spent the day meeting and petting an array of animals, including friendly alpacas, Magic and Crusader.

Born in Birmingham to Irish parents Francis and Mary-Ellen, Norah grew up in Selly Oak and was an only child.

Sadly, her father was killed in the Battle of the Somme during the First World War when she was just two years old.

In 1936, Norah met husband-to-be Arthur on what was locally known as the ‘Monkey Run’ in Selly Oak, a street where boys walked down one side and girls the other, in the hope that they might see someone who took their fancy – so it was literally love at first sight.

The couple had two daughters, Meryl and Patricia, but sadly Patricia sadly died several years ago, nine months before their son William passed away.

During the Second World War Arthur was killed in service in 1945 on the border of Germany and Holland, when Meryl was just two years old.

Mary-Ellen helped to raise the children while Norah spent most of her life drilling in factories in and around the Birmingham area to make enough money to look after them, before moving to Droitwich.

Norah said: “I really don’t feel any different, or even 103. I’m very pleased to still be here and am so grateful for all of my family.

“The alpaca’s were beautiful, although at first I didn’t know what they were! The staff always make such an effort to make my day special.”

Cindy Hawkins, Juniper House home manager, said: “Norah is such a huge character in our home. She’s such a witty, remarkable lady and we’re very lucky to have her here with us.”

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