109th birthday celebrations for Sylvia Corfield

Date published: 23 November 2021

Sylvia Corfield celebrated turning the grand age of 109 on Sunday 21 November.

A resident at Highfield House Care Home in Heywood, Sylvia celebrated her special day with staff and residents at the home who organised a party with giant 109 balloons, banners, flowers, and a bottle of champagne.

Her family were also able to visit and bring her birthday gifts which ‘lit her face up’.

Sylvia also received her annual birthday card from the Queen to add to her collection, who sends a free birthday message on a person's 100th birthday then each year following a 105th birthday.


Sylvia Corfield celebrates her 109th birthday at Highfield House Care Home
Sylvia's family were able to visit and bring her gifts on her special day which ‘lit her face up’


Gaynor Wright, manager of Highfield House, said: “All of us at Highfield House feel so lucky to be able to care for our residents and to celebrate this wonderful special day with Sylvia.

"Sylvia came to live at Highfield House in January 2020 and settled into her new home straight away. She loves walking with a care assistant and singing opera for everyone.

“Staff and residents sang happy birthday to our beautiful lady and she loved being spoilt.

“We are so glad that Sylvia and all our amazing residents have stayed safe all throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.”


Sylvia Corfield celebrates her 109th birthday at Highfield House Care Home
Staff and residents organised a party for Sylvia with giant 109 balloons, banners, flowers and a bottle of champagne


Sylvia Annie Cissie was born on 21 November 1912 in Shenstone, Staffordshire to her parents, Mary and Thomas Aston. She had a younger brother, Tommy, and a sister, Rhoda, and the family ran the village grocery store and bakery. They delivered by horse and trap [carriage] to local villages.

When Sylvia left the local private school, she travelled daily by train from Shenstone to Birmingham where she worked as a typist. When World War Two begun, her career changed and she worked for British Motor Company, who by now were building tanks for the forces.

At the end of the war, she commenced work at The Post Office, up until her retirement in 1972 (aged 60).

Sylvia married Douglas Corfield on 20 September 1947 at Shenstone Parish Church. Douglas was referred to as Sylvia’s ‘toy boy’ as he was over ten years her junior.

As Sylvia and Douglas had no relatives in Birmingham where they lived together, Sylvia looked on her cousin in Rochdale and upon retirement, the couple moved north to the town where they loved the social life and dancing.

Sylvia and Douglas had no children, and Douglas died in 2008.


Douglas and Sylvia Corfield
Douglas and Sylvia Corfield


In later years, Sylvia’s eyesight has failed and so she became a member at Rochdale Blind Society, of which she attended up until 2019. She loved the chats and dancing but complained that there were only two men to dance with, who she says would ‘fight one another to dance with her’.

Since Douglas’ death, Sylvia lived alone very independently until the end of 2019, when it became difficult. After a few short stays in hospital, Sylvia arrived at Highfield House in Heywood, initially for respite, but decided she liked being there. When asked by her social worker about going home or staying, Sylvia decided to stay at Highfield, where she has officially lived since January 2020.

The social worker also asked Sylvia what the food was like at Highfield, to which Sylvia replied: "It’s good, but it’s not The Ritz!"

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