Home » Celebrating 100 years – Our Granny Ann.

Celebrating 100 years – Our Granny Ann.

Today, October 12th 2018, my wee granny Ann turns 100 years old!
All my family are over on Islay to help celebrate this impressive milestone with her and although I’m sad I can’t be there to help with the celebrations and to give my gran a huge birthday cuddle, I’ve decided instead, to write this blog post to share with you some photos/memories and stories of her eventful/adventurous life💗
The Early Years
My gran, Ann Morrison was born in Greenock 1918 (one hundred years ago!)- It still amazes me that my gran was born at a time when most people still used horse and carriage! She has seen so much in her time, Infact the beginning of all modern innovations happened during her lifetime- the car, the phone, television, radio, refrigerator, the computer and so much more!
At the end of the FIRST World War, my gran moved with her Mum, Dad and Sisters to Hong Kong as there was not enough work at home for her dad to support their family. My Great Grandpa was involved in the shipbuilding industry on The River Clyde, which is the eighth longest river in the United Kingdom and is an important river for ship building and trade in the British empire.
I adore this photograph of granny, far left, with her three sisters…so glam!
When the First war was over, the family remained in Hong Kong for aprox 10 years then returned to the UK when shipbuilding improved on The Clyde.
Granny trained as a Tracer and began work in a shipyard drawing office which she continued to do until the onset of World War II.
When the war commenced she decided to train as a nurse with the intention of travelling overseas and nursing wounded sailers. To achieve this she had to join the Royal Navy.
She left the UK from Southampton without knowing her destination as it was classed as Top Secret. Her final destination turned out to be Ceylon (which is now Sri Lanka) in the Indian Ocean where she was based as a nurse to the navy boys during the Second World War.
When she finally moved back to Scotland and back to her job in the shipyard, it was around this time that she met my Grandpa and her future husband while hillwalking and skiing in the Scottish Mountains, which was one of their  hobbies. Gran was one of the first woman to ski in Scotland and this back when there were no chair lifts!…. you had to carry your ski’s all the way back up the top of the mountain!
The locals called her the “Kamikaze Granny!’
Gran and Grandpa’s relationship escalated quickly and eventually they were married in the early 50’s and that’s when they decided to move to Islay, a small Island off the West Coast of Scotland, which we are all very grateful for now ❤️
Island Life.
After finding their feet on Islay and settling into their home, they went on to have three children there, my Uncle Ruairidh, My Aunty Bam and ofcourse, my mum!
Here’s a photo of granny Ann holding my mum just after she was born in Bluehouse , in Bowmore.
Grandpa was The Station Superintendent and ran the very small Islay airport at this time , which is the reason they managed to take a family holiday to Spain when Mum was a wee girl. (My mum told me that they all flew to Majorca for 2/6d, which was the equivalent of 22p!!)……but even with discounted holidays to Spain, Granny and Grandpa saved their money like crazy with the intention of buying the chemist shop in Bowmore.
In the early 60’s they finally had enough money to buy the chemist shop and then went on to take over The Lochside Hotel next door to the chemist and ran both for approximately 10 years!
My mum has a lot of great memories and stories of their time living in Bowmore and being brought up in The Lochside Hotel.
Mum standing outside the Lochside Hotel.
After Gran and Grandpa separated, Gran moved to Kincraig, near Aviemore and continued to pursue her love of hill walking and skiing. She then moved to  Kilmalcolm, outside Glasgow to live with my Aunt and Uncle and helped bring up my cousins when they were tiny. Gran played a huge part in their lives as they were growing up and they are lucky to able to call her a massive influence in their life’s ❤️
…But Hong Kong and Sri Lanka were not the only long distance journeys my gran has travelled. My uncle Ruairidh moved to New Zealand to live when he was 30 years old and was there for many many years. Granny took that long flight over to New Zealand to visit him around 6 or 7 times over the course of 20 years and enjoyed travelling alone…she even made her last couple of visits when she was in her 80s!!
Granny and Uncle Ruairidh in New Zealand.
 My Talented Gran. 
My gran has had many talents and hobbies through her life, some of her best have been mountain climbing, skiing, golfing, cooking and gardening. For many years she’d spend the summer days planting flowers and vegetables in her garden, and still loves admiring the flowers in the beautiful garden at Gortonvogie care home she lives in.
Another fond memory I have from when I was younger , was when gran taught me how to cross stitch. I only ever cross stitched that one picture in my life, and that was with granny Ann on that one rainy day at Aunty Bams kitchen table (probably made to try and keep me quiet!) but I remember how much I loved learning from my gran and how patient she was with me , I was also so  impressed with the completed composition!
Which brings me to another one of my grans many many talents, sewing!……
From the age of 8 until 11 I was part of The Falkirk Children’s Theatre. We performed our annual Christmas panto every year, one show a night for a week in December including a matinee on Saturday!…. It was an exhausting week of shows every night after a day of school right before Christmas, but I’d never have missed it for the world as singing, dancing, acting and being on a stage was my most favourite thing to do!! Anyway….the costumes we had to wear for the shows were different every year and always very specific and although many of the children paid the local seamstress/other mum’s to do the job for them, my gran (and mum) made mine every year and I promise I’m not being biased when I say they always turned out truly amazing!….. always so well-made and gorgeous, even through they were made to sweat on stage in for one week only!…Infact, they were so well made that I’ve kept most of these costumes as they are too incredible to throw out/hand down! 💗
 I’ll never forget the winter nights of trying on costumes for gran to fit to me and trying so hard to avoid her freezing cold hands on my bare skin and worrying that she was going to jag me with pins too……. which never happened, she was a pro!
Sporting a cracking chin in one of my favourite costumes. 
Bumble Bee Baker 🙂
‘The two grannies.’
I’m lucky enough to have a great relationship with both my grans! My Granny Baker lives 10 minutes down the road from our house and has been there my whole life, so we have always  seen lots of Granny B.
I’d love when my Granny Ann was fit enough to come and visit us because the two grannies would get the chance to hang out together and always laughed a lot when they were in each other’s company!

‘The two grannies’ actually took a few holidays together over the years, including to Egypt, Malta and Tenerife and my wee Granny Baker STILL loves to share stories with me and my brother of their daft holiday antics! Granny B has always admired my Granny Ann and would often bring up how much of an amazing lady she is and was a little jealous that she could still swim in the pool in her 90s!

Back on Islay

Having been away for a number of years, granny moved back to Islay in 2012 to live near my Aunty and Uncle as they too have retired back to Islay.
 The last few times I’ve been on Islay and visited her, she has admired my black onyx ring. I wear this ring so often, mainly because it was handed down from granny to my mum and I remember mum wearing it a lot when I was younger and now I have it! I’m sure it brings back some memories for my gran when she see’s me wearing it, from when she wore it too!
Unfortunately, granny now suffers from dementia and has done for the last few years of her life however is very well looked after by the wonderful and caring staff at Gortonvogie Care Home, in Bowmore and still looks as glamorous as ever when I visit her …..with lippy on, pearls round her neck and the biggest smile ❤️😀

Thank you so much for allowing me to share a little bit about my special grandmother and to Bam, Ruairidh and Mum for helping me put this blog post together!

Although I’m not able to be with gran today, I’m so glad she gets to spend it with most of the family including her three children, five grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren on our most favourite Island, Islay.  

Above is granny’s letter she received in the post from The Queen to congratulate her in turning 100 years old!

I will certainly be raising a wee glass for my gran tonight to celebrate 100 happy years ❤️

Below are a few more favourite photo’s of our Gran, click one to make bigger! 🙂



  1. Alison Millar
    October 12, 2018 / 4:42 pm

    Wonderful blog Anna!! It is so nice to hear all about Granny Ann! A life lived well and full of precious memories!

    • Pat Christie
      October 13, 2018 / 12:11 am

      Well done Anna. What a lovely tribute to Granny Ann. It brought smiles and tears in equal measure reading her story and seeing all the old family photos and the ones of the younger generation. A lovely record of a remarkable lady. X

    • October 13, 2018 / 1:48 pm

      Thank You so much for reading Alison , we are so lucky to have her ❤️❤️

  2. October 13, 2018 / 5:26 am

    Gosh, this is so sweet! What an incredible life your granny has led so far! And what an amazing milestone too. Grandparents are honestly angels on Earth xoxox

    • October 13, 2018 / 1:57 pm

      Thank you so much for reading Chloe 💗 x

  3. Gwen Bamford
    October 14, 2018 / 7:28 pm

    Thank you for writing such a full and moving tribute to your gran and my Auntie Ann. I loved reading it and maybe we will meet up one day.
    Your mum’s cousin, Gwen xx

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