Village artist celebrates 100th birthday with family

JPCT 250413 S13180107x Billingshurst. Longfield Manor Care Home, 100th birthday celebration. Lyla with daughters Jenny Osbiston and Elizabeth Osbiston -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 250413 S13180107x Billingshurst. Longfield Manor Care Home, 100th birthday celebration. Lyla with daughters Jenny Osbiston and Elizabeth Osbiston -photo by Steve Cobb
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An award-winning Pulborough artist celebrated her 100th birthday last week.

Accompanied by her twin daughters and a large gathering of friends, Lyla Gordon marked her milestone day with two cakes and a card from Her Majesty the Queen.

Employed by the Ministry of Information during World War II, Mrs Gordon married her boss from the top secret department five decades later at the age of 78 and moved with him to Pulborough.

Taking up painting at 80, Mrs Gordon was a regular in local news for taking part in art events and winning the Outstanding Learner’s Award for her exceptional work on the Heart of Art course run by the Weald Community Centre.

Twin daughters Jennifer and Elizabeth Osbiston spoke about their mother’s flair for painting.

“She always wanted to paint, but she was told at school that she was no good,” Jennifer said.

“But she didn’t always believe what the teachers said,” added Elizabeth.

Now partially blind and deaf, Mrs Gordon is unable to continue with painting and receives around the clock care at Longfield Manor nursing home in Billingshurst.

Elizabeth continued: “She’s delighted that she got a card from the Queen. We were worried it wouldn’t come, but when we picked up the post we were very glad to see it.”

Mrs Gordon gave away her collection of paintings to friends and family.