Croydon resident born year after First World War turns 102

By Sharin Hussain, Local Democracy Reporter

A Croydon resident born a year after the end of the First World War has celebrated her 102nd birthday, writes Sharin Hussain.

Gladys Wilson, pictured, a South Croydon resident celebrated the special milestone on November 11 by celebrating with her family, her fellow residents and the staff at her care home with a cake that was made for her special day.

Ms Wilson said: “My secret to reaching such an age is having my family, but also being strong willed and very independent.

“You’ve got to look after yourself and make the most of your life – you never know what’s around the corner.”

Ms Wilson was born in Purley Way, Croydon where she grew up and got married to her husband, John, in July 1939 at Croydon Parish Church. They had a daughter, Margaret, a year later.

She currently lives at RMBI Care Co. Home James Terry Court, South Croydon, and has been living there since September 2017.

Her first job was as a care assistant at Epsom Hospital, and she has had various jobs throughout her life.

She fondly remembers working at Gaskell Chambers factory in Bensham Lane, Thornton Heath, making optic measures for spirits.

Ms Wilson said: “The camaraderie was more important to me than the job.”

Her husband passed away in January 1983, and Ms Wilson lived on her own until she moved to RMBI.

Ms Wilson also has two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

One of her hobbies is gardening, as she gets a lot of pleasure from growing plants and vegetables, a hobby she inherited from her parents, who cultivated their own vegetable plot in their garden.

Lucy Fernandes, one of the activities coordinators at James Terry Court, said: “It was great to help Gladys celebrate this remarkable milestone. She is a fascinating lady with an amazing sense of humour.”

RMBI Home James Terry Court, in South Croydon, is run by RMBI Care Co, part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

The Home is currently able to safely welcome new residents.

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