100th birthday celebrations for knitter Violet

A prolific knitter who has made thousands of cardigans and hundreds of baby blankets celebrates her 100th birthday on Monday.

Violet Thomas who has five children, 13 grandchildren, 28 geat grandchildren and a great great granddaughter has knitted and sewed clothes all her life.

Her daughter Glen recalls how her mum made all the clothes for her five children as they were growing up - even knitting their socks.

Violet was born in 1921. She lived with her parents Annie and George Lee on Westwood Road, Ossett which is where she met her neighbour Ernest Allatt, her future husband.

Ernest went away to fight in Burma during World War Two with the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders and Violet joined the Land Army. Ernest was away for many years, returning in 1945 to marry his fiancée.

He then had to go away again, this time to India, for almost four years.

When Ernest was demobbed the young couple started a family, having their first three children, Maurice, Glenis and Catherine in the space of three years. Stephen and Melvyn followed a few years later.

They moved to Athold St, Osett and Ernest became a chimney sweep. As the demand for coal fires declined he set up as a private hire taxi driver and then a driving instructor.

Violet ran a stall on Doncaster market for many years to sell her creations which included peg bags and aprons.

Tragically Ernest died of brain haemorrhage, aged just 57. Violet married Frank Thomas in 1981 and was widowed for a second time .

Glen said: “Mum never uses a pattern for her cardigans so each one is unique.

“She knitted blankets for all the babies in the family and at last count that stood at 143.”

To celebrate her birthday Violet is having an open house weekend for family and friends.