December 12 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 31, 2013
A woman who has lived and worked in and around Beccles all her life has celebrated her 100th birthday.
Emily Whale, who was born in Mutford, on October 29, 1913, but moved to Beccles with her late husband Albert more than 75 years ago, celebrated the milestone yesterday with her family and, of course, a card from The Queen.
Mrs Whale, who was one of four children, used to walk four miles to school and back in Henstead each day, and at the age of 14 went out to work as a house keeper.
She worked at a farm house in Barnby, then at Beccles hospital as a ward maid before getting a job at The Star Hotel in Beccles, where she later had her wedding reception.
It was while biking home from work one day that Mrs Whale met her husband.
She said: “I was going along Ellough Road on my bicycle on the way home from work.
“He had just got back from India with the army.
“His brother-in-law whistled me and I got off my bike to speak to them.”
The next day the couple went on their first date to the cinema in Beccles, and after courting for four years, they were married at the registry office in Beccles in October 1934.
They moved into a house in Beccles where they had eight children, and now Mrs Whale has 26 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.
In celebration of her milestone, Mrs Whale went on her first holiday last month to Center Parcs with her granddaughter – a holiday she enjoyed so much she is going back again in May.
Mrs Whale, who was given the nickname Dolly by her mother when she was younger because she was so small, said the secret to her long and healthy life was hard work and good living.
She added: “I’ve got a lovely family and they keep me going.”