May 21 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, March 7, 2013
The Royal Naval Association have wished a happy 100th birthday to a new Norwich centenarian.
A reception has been held to mark Vera Read’s 100th birthday at the Royal British Legion housing complex, Edmund Bacon Court, in Aylsham Road.
The Royal Naval Association attended as Vera’s husband, Cecil, was in the Navy. They were joined by Lord Mayor of Norwich, Ralp Gayton, for the surprise celebration lunch.
Mrs Read said: “This was all kept from me and when I think about it, I’m absolutely amazed.”
Originally from Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft, Mrs Read moved to Appleyard Close in Mile Cross in 1934 and had two children, Christine and Eileen.
In Great Britain:
- Emily Davison, a British suffragette, is killed after running out in front of the King’s horse, Anmer, at the Epsom Derby. She was trampled and died four days later in hospital.
- Sheffield’s Harry Brearley, the son of a steel melter, succeeded in his attempts to create stainless steel, or rustless steel as it was called at the time.
- HMS Queen Elizabeth was launched at Portsmouth Dockyard as the first oil-fired battleship, going on to serve in both world wars.
- Future Liverpool Football Club manager Bill Shankly was born. Shankly died in 1981.
Elsewhere in the world:
- King George I of Greece was assassinated after 50 years on the throne and succeeded by his son, Constantine.
- Woodrow Wilson succeeded William Howard Taft as president of the United States.
- French aviator Adolphe Pegoud became the first person to parachute jump from an aeroplane and land safely, over Chateaufort in France.
- Future US president Richard Nixon was born. Nixon died in 1994.
She now has four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren and is one of the original residents of Edmund Bacon Court from when it was built in 1979, where her husband also lived until he died in 1983.
Mrs Read said her husband had been based in Scotland with the Navy, after being brought up by Barnardo’s because his parents had died of TB.
She said there was an instant spark between her and Cecil when they met in Norwich, because they had both lived and gone to school in Oulton Broad.
There was such a spark between them that after just three weeks they decided to marry and another two weeks later they were married.
She added: “We got married and then we were together for over 40 years and never regretted it.”
Mrs Read’s eldest daughter, Christine Manns, who lives in Hellesdon, explained that her father had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s when he was 49 years old and that her mother had spent the next 20 years of their lives caring for him.
Mrs Manns said her mother had worked at Harmers clothing factory in Norwich during the second world war, saying: “She worked at Harmers until I was born, then they didn’t work in those days, she stayed at home and looked after her family.
“She liked knitting and sewing and the usual things, going to church every week, and it’s only really since Christmas that she’s not been able to go to St Luke’s, the church here at the British Legion.”
Mrs Read has now been at Edmund Bacon Court for over 30 years, so is something of a legend at the complex - as was reflected in the good turnout for her party on Tuesday afternoon.
Manager of Edmund Bacon Court, Suzanne Etheridge, said: “Vera has been here since we opened and I have been here for 20 years. She’s a really big part of our court and still comes to the majority of our functions.
“She has a great set of friends and an amazing sense of humour. She’s one lovely lady.”
- Do you know someone approaching their 100th birthday? Contact reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772439 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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