One of Leigh’s oldest residents, Amy Hirst, celebrated her 101st birthday this year in a party with friends at Belong Atherton, on Mealhouse Lane. Born in 1913, Amy has lived in Leigh all of her life, though a great deal of that time was spent travelling around the world, paving the way for modern holidaymakers.
Amy’s travels began when she worked at Courtaulds textiles manufacturers, where she became friends with Edith Bains. The two saved their wages to travel, initially to Blackpool and the local area. They first left the country to travel to France on the 10th of June 1937, which gave them a taste for the exotic. When the Second World War broke out, Amy and Edith travelled around England, Wales and Scotland, and after the war ended they began travelling in earnest.
From Geneva in France in 1949 and Belgium and Holland in 1952, to Venice and Verona in Italy in 1962 to the Parthenon in Greece in 1972, Amy and Edith travelled together for all of their working lives, revisiting places that they enjoyed and seeking out new experiences. Asked to pick her favourite place, Amy couldn’t, saying simply that she loved every place, every person and every experience.
Nicola Beaver, Experience Coordinator at Belong Atherton, said: “We’re privileged to have Amy living with us now, and hope that she’ll enjoy many more birthdays in the village. As well as her wonderful sense of humour, we never tire of seeing Amy’s collection of photos from her and Edith’s travels, or hearing about the incredible situations that these brave two ladies found themselves in.”