Former Norwich chocolate factory worker celebrates 100th birthday

Gladys Moates 100th birthday. Photo: Kieran Buckland

Gladys Moates 100th birthday. Photo: Kieran Buckland - Credit: Kieran Buckland

A former Caley's chocolate factory worker and seamstress has celebrated turning 100.

Gladys Moates marked her landmark birthday at the Bowthorpe Care Village, where she lives, today with friends and family.

Mrs Moates, nee Fuller, who was born and bred in Norwich, has three children, eight grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

Her oldest daughter Lorna Utting, 75, from Pond Close in Hethersett, said: 'My mother has always had a positive outlook on life. She does not let anything get in her way even when going through the hard times.

'She has always been very happy and everyone says how much she laughs. She has always got a smile on her face.

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'She cannot believe she has reached 100.'

Mrs Utting, a retired secretary, added as well as having a happy disposition, her mother was always willing to help people.

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The centenarian was born on Sussex Street, Norwich, and was one of four children.

After leaving school she worked as a seamstress at Garlands department store in Norwich city centre.

Following on from that she joined Caley's chocolate factory where the intu Chapelfield shopping centre now stands.

Mrs Utting said her mother talked about putting together Easter eggs while working at the iconic factory.

Mrs Moates was engaged to her first husband, Eddie Notley, when she was 21 and the pair married on August 5, 1939.

They had two daughters and one son together.

Her first husband was an iron moulder but he died in his early 40s during 1957 from pneumonia.

Mrs Moates had to return to work as a cleaner to support her three children after the death of Mr Notley.

She found love for a second time after meeting her second husband, Arthur Moates, through her mother.

Mr Moates, a plasterer, knew her family and the couple married on May 18, 1974, at Christ Church in Eaton, just outside Norwich.

The centenarian was 57 at the time of her second marriage, which was a happy one.

'Our family were very pleased and Arthur's family was very pleased as well,' Mrs Utting added.

Mr Moates died in 1993.

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