December 10 2013 Latest news:
Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Monday, September 9, 2013
When Doris Vollbrecht was born, Edward VII was King, Robert Baden-Powell led his first scout camp on Brownsea Island and the Old Bailey criminal court opened in London.
And on Sunday, Miss Vollbrecht, a former dressmaker apprentice who has lived in Norwich all her life, celebrated her 106th birthday at the Methodist Home for the Aged in Cecil Road.
And the centenarian, one of the oldest in Norfolk, believes her longevity is due to her clean living lifestyle, as she did not drink or smoke and good genes.
She said: “I didn’t drink and I have lived a modest life. I have smoked about two cigarettes in my entire life.”
She added she was raised in a very discipline household in St Margaret’s Street as one of 11 children.
She attended St Philips School in Norwich before becoming a dressmakers apprentice and working in a shoe factory for a time.
Religion was also a major part of her life as she was a regular worshipper at the Park Lane Methodist Church where she sang in the church choir.
Bicycle was the main form of transport when Miss Vollbrecht was growing as cars were a rare luxury and she said she used to go on rides to Wroxham. Trams and buses were also in use during her early years.
“We were not flashy children. We just went along in a quiet manner, we just did not disturb anybody at least I don’t think we did,” Miss Vollbrecht said.
She added her father August ensured his children, including her four sisters, had a strict upbringing and they were forbidden from playing outside or in the street.
She lived most of her life in St Margaret’s Street, but moved to Bluebell Road where she cared for her sister Julia, who also lived to 100, for 30 years before moving to the care home.