A GRANDMOTHER is celebrating a special milestone during lockdown.

Evelyne Farnell, who lives at The Hall in Thornton-le-Dale, will be 100 on Tuesday, July 7, and will mark occasion with a socially-distanced celebration.

Since lockdown began, Evelyne has not seen her daughter, Ann, or two granddaughters, Tracy and Lesley, properly due to safety precautions at the care home.

“Our family have been talking about this occasion for years,” said Tracy, who cannot return from Cambodia due to flight cancellations during the pandemic.

“Although our plans are a little thwarted during lockdown, hopefully my mum and younger sister can spend time with her socially distanced in the gardens.

“Having survived the Second World War and now with any luck the current pandemic, we are thinking she will perhaps live forever.”

Evelyne was born in Hertfordshire and grew up in the village of Ashwell, until the beginning of the Second World War.

Positioned in the Women’s Royal Air Force as a leading aircraft expert, in Sandwich, Evelyne typed everything spoken by fighter pilots during the Battle of Britain.

She met her husband John, who also served in the RAF, and the couple married in 1944.

The couple relocated to Westow, and lived in a converted war carriage until 1964.

They eventually settled in Huttons Ambo for more than 40 years near their daughter, Ann, and granddaughter, Lesley, who live in Ellerburn.

“My grandma is the original Yorkshire glamper, which inspired my own business,” said Lesley Beale, who owns the glamping business, Gumboots & Wellingtons.

“Since lockdown began, we regularly wave through the window and call my grandma.

“Our family have been planning this occasion for a year; grandma deserves to be spoilt rotten.”

Evelyne is a keen gardener, indoor bowls enthusiast and dress maker – joining the Malton & Norton Art Society in the early 1970s.

Staff and volunteers at The Hall,

in Thornton-le-Dale, have supported Evelyne for more than eight


“Lockdown has been really difficult, not seeing my mum face to face or providing a huge hug,” said Ann Nutt, from Ellerburn.

“She is a wonderful grandma, doting on Tracy and Lesley from a young age.

“I cannot praise the staff and volunteers at The Hall enough during this unprecedented times.

“We are making a huge fuss with plenty of cake, flowers and birthday wishes – she deserves it.”