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Great gran, 93, attends her own wake because she ‘did not want to miss the party’

Ethel Leather (centre) with son Allan Barlow and daughter Pauline Neal at her ‘pre-funeral party’ (P..

By admin , in UK , at February 24, 2018

Great gran, 93, attends her own wake because she 'did not want to miss the party'
Ethel Leather (centre) with son Allan Barlow and daughter Pauline Neal at her ‘pre-funeral party’ (Picture: BPM)

A 93-year-old great-gran who loves a party decided to attend her own wake after hearing what her family had planned for her funeral.

Ethel Leather partied with her family this afternoon at The Bank pub in Spondon, Derby and even belted out some of her favourite karaoke songs.

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Mum-of-five Ethel even called the party ‘The Golden Years’ as relatives joined in the singing and laughter in celebration of her life.

Pauline Neal, Ethel’s daughter, said: ‘I was just talking about her own funeral and what I’d got arranged for afterwards and she got so excited about it.

‘I said ‘would you like to come?’ and we just laughed about it and it’s gone on from there.’

Great gran, 93, attends her own wake because she 'did not want to miss the party'
Family and friends turned up for Ethel Leather today (Picture: BPM)

Ethel, a retired Rolls-Royce worker, said: ‘She described it and I said: “Well I won’t be there will I?”, and Pauline said: “You will”. I’ve enjoyed everything about the party.’

She even found the energy to sing a touching rendition of Al Jolson’s When I Leave This World Behind, which she once sang on board the Oriana cruise ship.

Ethel, who has ‘many’ grandchildren and great-grandchildren, said: ‘It’s my favourite song. When I was a lot younger, we used to go to a public house on Nottingham Road every weekend called the Chesterfield Arms.

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Great gran, 93, attends her own wake because she 'did not want to miss the party'
Ethel Leather called her party ‘Golden Years’ (Picture: BPM)

‘Me and my sister used to get up and sing and the pianist there was brilliant. He’s dead now, bless him, and he was the first one I heard sing it.’

‘I just took to it straight away and it’s sort of sentimental to me because of the pianist. Bill Macbeth was his name.’

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Speaking about her life, Ethel said: ‘I didn’t enjoy my life until I was about 60 and then I married my second husband. I had a wonderful life after that. I don’t know what I would have done differently in my life given the chance. I had my children with my first husband for which I’m grateful for but I wasn’t happy.

‘But I’m happier now than I’ve ever been since I married my second husband. That’s been 30 years of happiness.’

During the party, Pauline brought out a cake with the words ‘Mam’s Golden Years’ in golden lettering, which Ethel cut for her guests.

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