Ninety-three-year-old Zillah lives in Teeside, in the home she shared with Tommy, her husband of 64 years. During World War II, a sixteen-yearold Zillah joined the Land Army, one of the many women who took over the agricultural work after the men had been called up, picking turnips and potatoes, and even learning to drive a truck. On returning home, Zillah met Tommy at her local swimming baths and they married a year later, going on to have two sons and a daughter.
Sadly, in 2011, Tommy passed away and, overwhelmed by loss, Zillah retreated from life. She said, “I looked after him in the last few years. I did what I promised to do in church. All of a sudden you realise you are alone and that’s when it hits you. “It comes over you that you really have nobody because your family have their own life, they do their own thing. I just used to sit and cry.” It was then that Zillah contacted the Silver Line. “I was feeling miserable and I was awful to know.
I phoned the Silver Line and they were lovely. You just feel there’s someone there for you and they’re there to help you.” Zillah now speaks to her Silver Line Telephone Friend John once a week. “He phones up during ‘University Challenge’ so we see who gets the most questions right.”