Former Fleetwood woman Pauline Ackroyd celebrates her 100th birthday in Ontario, Canada

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A former Fleetwood woman who worked in munitions during the Second World War and now lives in Canada has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Pauline Ackroyd (nee Peake) emigrated to Ontario with her husband and two young children in 1955 but has fond memories of Fleetwood and is even hooked up to a Wyre Council camera on the Mount so she can still look out at her beloved home town seafront.

Pauline, whose nickname was always ‘Poppy’, celebrated her milestone with her children in the small town of Bath, near Kingston, were she has lived for almost 70 years.

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But relatives in England, including her younger brother and last surviving sibling, Ken Peake, 93, and his wife Angela, who live in Thornton, were able to join in her birthday celebrations via Skype.

Paul Ackroyd, who grew up in Fleetwood but now lives in Ontario, Canada, has celebrated her 100th birthdayPaul Ackroyd, who grew up in Fleetwood but now lives in Ontario, Canada, has celebrated her 100th birthday
Paul Ackroyd, who grew up in Fleetwood but now lives in Ontario, Canada, has celebrated her 100th birthday

She received a card from the Canadian Governor General and is expected to also get one from King Charles III.

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As a young woman Pauline did her bit for the country by traveling every day from Fleetwood to Chorley to work in a munitions factory during the Second World War, and later helped to build aeroplanes for the war effort, in a factory at Squires Gate, Blackpool.

Ken said: “My sister is a wonderful woman who did her bit for the country during the war.

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Pauline Ackroyd in her twenties.  Originally from Fleetwood,  she has celebrated her 100th birthday in Canada.Pauline Ackroyd in her twenties.  Originally from Fleetwood,  she has celebrated her 100th birthday in Canada.
Pauline Ackroyd in her twenties. Originally from Fleetwood, she has celebrated her 100th birthday in Canada.

"She would have to get up early to catch the train, in the days when Fleetwood had a railway station, to get over to Chorley.”

Angela said: “Pauline knew so many people in Fleetwood and she would always be stopped by people who wanted to chat!”

Pauline moved to Canada when her husband, also called Ken, who worked at ICI in Thornton and decided to move to the company’s new Canadian factory.

When he travelled over, ahead of Pauline and the two children, it turned out that the new factory had not even been built and at first he had to sleep in a nearby bus station.

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But by luck, he knew a fellow Lancastrian who had also moved out there, and he found work at at another company’s factory and sent for Pauline, who made the long journey alone with the children – and the family prospered.

Sadly her husband Ken died several years ago.

Pauline has two children, Michael and Susan, three grandchildren and four great grandchildren.