A CHESTER woman who helped with the correspondence of leading theatre actors and actresses has marked her 100th birthday.

Catherine McAlinden was born in Liverpool in 1920, one of three children, to Elizabeth and William Burquest. Sadly, her mother died three years later after the birth of her brother. She was adopted by her paternal grandparents.

In 1931, she won a scholarship and was educated at Notre Dame Convent.

She met her husband Bernard in 1938 and married in1940.

She had a varied career but her favourite was being secretary to the manager of the Royal Court theatre where she came into contact with many of the leading actors and actresses of the day who were performing at the theatre.

Her favourite was Richard Greene, who played the original Robin Hood in the film, and she helped him with correspondence from his many fans.

In 1963 she moved to Newton, Chester when Bernard became manager of the House of Bewlay which was in Eastgate Street.

She then became secretary at the West Cheshire School of Nursing at Mostyn Hospital and remained there until she retired.

After retiring, she did voluntary work at the hospital and helped to look after her five grandchildren and later her great grandchildren.

Catherine is a parishioner of St Columbas Church in Upton and well into her 80s was a member of the badminton club which held its meetings in the church hall.

One of her greatest regrets is that since lockdown she has not been able to receive communion on Sunday brought to her by the Eucharistic minister.

After Bernard died in 1997, Catherine continued to live in Newton until she moved to into Newton House where she still resides.

She enjoys embroidery, the crossword in the Daily Mail and is an ardent reader, especially novels which have a Liverpool background some of her favourites being books by Lynn Andrews, Katie Flynn and June Francis.

Big plans which her family had made to celebrate her birthday have had to be put on hold because of the restrictions which are now in place regarding gatherings of limited numbers of people.

Catherine and her family wish to thank everyone who has sent best wishes, cards, flowers and gifts to celebrate this wonderful milestone.