A born and bred Norwich woman celebrated her landmark 100th birthday with friends, family and the Lord Mayor of Norwich on Saturday.

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Doris Neve celebrated becoming a centenarian at Seabrook Court in Clover Hill Road, Bowthorpe, and was also joined by Lord Mayor Ralph Gayton and his wife Brenda for the celebration.

The mother of seven, who has 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, was rather overwhelmed by the attention but still proudly showing off her card of congratulations from the Queen.

Mrs Neve’s daughter, Margaret Cornford, who lives off Ber Street in Norwich, said: “It’s been great. She always says she doesn’t want a lot of fuss but I think she enjoys it really.”

Mrs Cornford explained that her mother and father, Walter, had married at Christ Church in Old Catton in 1932 but that Mr Neve had passed away in 1965.

Mrs Neve left school at 14 and went to work at Cooper’s sweet factory, which was opposite her family home in King Street and later became Read’s flour mill, starting off putting the eyes on sugar mice with a stick dipped in black colouring before going on to do several different jobs in the factory.

She also worked at Daniel’s Nursery, now Nottcutts, in Daniels Road, which gave her a lifelong love of gardening and she still does as much as she can.

Mrs Cornford said her mother still knits and reads, with Mills and Boon Regency novels her favourite books, although her eyesight is not so good now.

She has only been ill in hospital twice in her life – both in the last year through a broken hip and a chest infection – and despite having smoked since she was 16, very seldom sees her doctor.

Lord Mayor Ralph Gayton said: “It’s quite an occasion when someone reaches their centenary and for Doris to still have such a good memory about things is great. I think she’s a wonderful lady.”

Do you know someone approaching a landmark birthday? Contact Rosa McMahon on 01603 772495 or rosa.mcmahon@archant.co.uk


  • It might have been the highlight of Ralph`s life.

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

  • I bet she was thrilled that the Lord Mayor was there - could life get more exciting?

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    Tudor Bushe

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

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