A RENFREWSHIRE woman who celebrates her 101th birthday this week has laid claim to being Tunnock’s oldest customer.

Mary Byrne has put down her longevity to having had one of their famous caramel wafers every day.

Last week as a reward for her loyalty sales manager Graeme Harkness delivered a Tunnocks hamper with all the traditional favourites to Mary at Bridge of Weir Care Home.

Mary, who has a son and two grown up grandsons, only moved into residential care four years ago after her sight began to deteriorate.

Originally from Glasgow, she relocated to Linwood after the war when her late husband, who died in 1996, got work in the town’s car plant.

Previously she had worked in the Royal Ordanance Factory in nearby Bishopton before becoming a cashier for a cinema chain in Glasgow.

After the birth of her son John she became a full-time mum and housewife.
SQA worker John, 60, told The Gazette that his mum was delighted with the gift.

He said: “My mum lived on her own until very recently and did a great job of covering up her blindness.

“She had an accident at home when a wardrobe fell on her and she was badly injured.

“However she made an amazing recovery and realised that she couldn’t stay at home any longer.

“Mum was thrilled when she got the visit from Tunnocks.

“She had been looking forward to the day for the last three weeks and had been practicing her speech for Graeme.”

The presentation was organised by care home worker Filipa Fallow, who has looked after Mary since she moved in nine months ago.

She said: “Mary always credits her long life to eating caramel wafer each day with a cup of tea.

“So we thought it a great idea to get Tunnock’s involved.

“They were so delighted that they asked to come to the home and deliver the hamper in person.

“It mean a lot to her and her family as they couldn’t celebrate her 100th birthday last year because Mary had Covid.

“I just wanted to do something special for her as she is such a special woman.

“Tunnock’s say they’re going to put her picture up at her factory because she is their biggest fan.”

Last year, Mary got an official telegram from Her Majesty The Queen and she received a special telegram from Tunnock’s owner, Sir Boyd Tunnock, on November 15 when she turned 101.

Filipa added: “Mary is such a funny woman and has us all in stitches every day and as such a good outlook on life.

“I’m also professional singer and when I sing songs to her, she joins in with me particularly if it’s Judy Garland.”

Tunnock’s sales director Fergus Loudon said they were delighted to help Mary celebrate her 101st birthday.

He added: “We’ve been making the caramel wafer since the 1950’s and there is no doubt she is our oldest and most loyal customer.”