A LOCHGELLY woman recently celebrated her 100th birthday.

Cathie Kippen, of Moffat Crescent, hit the incredible milestone on Saturday, June 24.

She was presented with a gift voucher by councillor Mary Lockhart and Col Jim Kinloch DL represented the Fife Lieutenancy.

Cathie was born in Valley Row in Lumphinnans, June 24, 1923.

The Kirkwood family consisted of mum, dad, three girls and three boys.

Although living conditions in the rows could be harsh, especially for a large family, Cathie fondly recalls having a very happy childhood and growing up in a warm-hearted close-knit mining community.

Cathie attended Lumphinnans Primary School, where she excelled in her school studies, before moving on to secondary education at Moss-side Secondary School for Girls in Cowdenbeath.

Cathie left school at the early age of 14 to start work as a weaver in the Hay & Robertson’s Linen Factory Dunfermline, where she found a natural flair for weaving and was soon put in charge of her own looms.

Sometime later she moved to the Walker and Reid textile factory Dunfermline where she worked weaving silk to make parachutes as part of the war effort.

Cathie recalls this as a happy time, working long, hard hours in the factory but also enjoying spending time with her friends, going to Slora’s Picture House Cowdenbeath to see the latest films or to the dancing in Cowdenbeath or Lochgelly.

It was at the dancing that Cathy met James (Jim) Kippen.

After a short courtship and engagement, Cathie and Jim were married along with Cathie’s younger sister Louise (to Duncan Thorburn) at a double wedding ceremony and reception in Lumphinnans Miners Institute.

The double wedding making quite an attraction at the time.

Jim worked in the mines firstly at the Nellie Pit, then Seafield Colliery and finally Solsgirth Mine before retiring in 1983. Jim was also an active member of the Mines Rescue.

Cathie and Jim had four children raising them in the family pre-fab home in Lumphinnans before finally moving to a new house in Moffat Crescent in Lochgelly.

In retirement Cathie and Jim spend their time pursuing their passions; Jim playing golf and fly fishing, and Cathie enjoying gardening, bowls and dancing.

Jim and Cathie enjoyed many holidays abroad, with Cathie in later life visiting Oman and Dubai.

Cathie had two daughters and two sons, and she now has five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

She attributes reaching the grand old age of 100 to keeping fit and active by walking, attending 'elderobics' classes and her passion for dancing - and of course a moderate diet.