Farewell to our last Victorian
Ethel Lang was a remarkable lady, born in Barnsley on the 27th May 1900 who passed away yesterday. She lived in the South Yorkshire mining town all her life and was the last person to have lived under the Queen Victoria Reign. In 1900 British troops were fighting in the Second Boer War and the Labour Party was founded.
Ethel oversaw 22 prime ministers, 6 monarchs and saw the invention of the radio, television, computer, internet and mobile phone. She lived through both world wars and knew what it was like to live in the Great Depression in the 1930s. She received 15 birthday cards from the Queen.
Ethel left school at 13 to work in Sugden’s Shirt Factory, she later married her husband William in 1922 and a year later gave birth to her daughter Margaret who is now 91 years old.
Margaret stated that “She was such a good mum. I’m so proud of her. She was born in 1900 so obviously she was the last living Victorian.
“I have so many wonderful memories of being with my mother. She was registered blind in 1988 but it never stemmed her enthusiasm for life, even in her later years.
“I would take her into town and she would ask me to point things like buildings and landmarks out to her. She hated to be stuck indoors.
“She used to take coins and rub round the sides of them to remember what they looked like and she would often have the snooker on in the background – she’d know everything that was going on.”
“My mother loved all kinds of dancing and she was doing until she was 98 when she broke her hip. She loved the music.
''Her secret to living so long was living so well, she never smoked and rarely had a drink. She was always out and about, She tried very, very hard with everything she did - I think she's had quite a nice life. But she had a weakness for bacon sandwiches and lard, reports her daughter. ''She wasn't into modern food like pizza and things like that, she cooked with lard, Mrs Bates, 91 said.
Records show that Mrs Lang, the world’s eighth oldest living person until her death on Thursday morning, had genetics on her side with her mother reaching the age of 91, her sister living to 104 and ancestors going back to the 1700s all enjoying long lives.
Rip Ethel from Selby Everyday.