April 20 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, December 5, 2013
A Loddon resident who was born and raised in Norfolk has celebrated her 100th birthday with a visit from her 95-year-old little sister.
Edith Whittley, who lives at Saxon House care home in Loddon, celebrated the milestone on Saturday and was joined by her sister Olive, who also lives in a care home and travelled to be with her on her special day.
Miss Whittley, who is bedridden but still enjoys life, was born in Gorleston on November 30, 1913, and had three brothers and two sisters.
She was raised and educated there until the age of 24 when she went to London to work during the second world war.
She said: “It was a horrible job. I had to stand in rubber wellies and a long apron and make safety glass. We had a bowl of acetone on the table and it was long and tiring.
“I wasn’t afraid of work, but I didn’t like that work.”
After the war Miss Whittley moved to work in Slough as an invisible mender for stockings, but said her favourite job was working in a telephone exchange when she was in her 40s. She stayed there for 18 years until she retired at the age of 62.
Miss Whittley said: “I loved working there. I don’t know why but it was all so different.
“There was always a lot to do but we just got on with it.”
It was then that Miss Whittley moved back to Norfolk to live in a cottage in Geldeston with her friend Lily, and after Lily passed away, became a resident at Saxon House, where she has now lived for almost ten years.
Miss Whittley never married and said she just never met the right man who could sweep her off her feet.
She spent her special day surrounded by staff, friends and family and was spoilt with presents, cards and bunches of flowers, as well as a big birthday cake.
Miss Whittley said: “I had a lovely day. I received so many nice presents and cards and I got one from the Queen.
“I’ve had a lovely life, apart from the war years. I’m a quiet person, but I’ve always had a lot of fun.”