Eastleigh seniors in triple celebration

105 year old Edna Small

There’s a triple celebration for four residents at Leslie Loader Court, a sheltered housing complex run by Radian, at Eastleigh in Hampshire.

Mrs Edna Small turned 105 years old on Monday, 9 May. Edna, who was born in 1906, will enjoy a family party along with other friends and residents on Friday, 13 May. She has lived at Leslie Loader Court for 24 years and has two daughters, six grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and is currently awaiting the first of her great, great grandchild, due this month.

She says she has had a very interesting life. After passing her scholarship she wanted to be a teacher but had a change of mind and studied nursing before working as a Ward Sister, nursing among others the celebrated Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot R J Mitchell.

Edna still loves gardening and can often be seen pottering around in the court grounds. She has also been a great support to the local church and still arranges Holy Communion each month for her fellow residents.

Amidst the frenzy surrounding the Royal Wedding, the Queen still remembered to send Mrs Hilda Pettyfer a congratulatory postcard from Buckingham Palace, to celebrate her birthday, on Monday, 2 May. The popular centenarian celebrated with friends and family on Saturday, 7 May.

Hilda, who was born in 1911, the same year as the actresses Merle Oberon and Jean Harlow, spent her childhood in a small village where the only pastimes were Sunday school and church.

She left school at 14, a year before the General Strike of 1926 to become a housekeeper, where she earned a wage of five shillings a week.

Hilda married at 21 and was very happy, although sadly her husband died in 1990.
She has a married son, a grand-daughter and one great grandson. She moved into Radian’s sheltered accommodation two years ago and says her family has always been a great support to her.

Robert and Betty Davis, who also live at Leslie Loader Court, will celebrate their Golden wedding anniversary on Friday, 20 May. The couple, who married the same year as a youthful John F Kennedy was elected president of the USA, met when Betty's father was Robert's boss at British Railways.

They have always been an active couple and especially enjoyed walking, although Betty now suffers from mobility problems. They have lived at Leslie Loader Court for three months and say they love it there, as “life is now so much easier”. They are due to celebrate their anniversary with other residents on Friday, 20 May and say their recipe for a long and happy marriage is a simple one: “remember to give and take”.


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