A Sanctuary Care home resident in Bridgwater has celebrated her 102nd birthday.
Surrounded by loved ones and residents, Edna Gertrude May Thomas marked her birthday with a traditional tea party on Tuesday (30 May), at The Rosary Nursing Home, where she has lived for over two years.
When asked what her secret is to reaching such a great age, Edna said: “It’s an easy one – down to fresh air and rough cider!”
Born and bred in Bridgwater
Born and bred in Bridgwater, the birthday girl was born on Sunday 30 May 1915 in Road Lane, where she grew up with her older sister Margaret and parents Ernest Hembery, who worked at the dairies and Lilly Hembery, who was a housewife.
Always living in Bridgwater, Edna attended the local school in the area – Somerset Bridge School – and also found love at her local fish and chip shop in Riverside.
Finding love at the local fish and chip shop
Meeting at the chippie, Edna and Fredrick Thomas instantly hit it off and the pair walked down the aisle when Edna was 20 years old in 1935, where they moved into a rented room in Taunton Road, later moving to Queens Road.
Edna and Fredrick went onto have four children, Dennis 81, Pamela 79, Rita – who sadly passed away at 59 and Lyn, who sadly died at the age of four months old due to pneumonia.
As well as being a fantastic mother, Edna also enjoyed a string of different careers throughout her working years. She originally worked as a nanny, before moving on to work at the Van Heusen shirt factory and eventually to a laundry shop in Taunton Road where she stayed until she retired.
Five generations on
The Thomas family has now blossomed into five generations with five grandchildren – Lorraine, Wayne, Martin, Paula and Michael, 10 great-grandchildren – Samuel, Ethan, Nahum, Kelly, Ross, Emma, Katie, Chloe, Kyle and Cassie and four great-great grandchildren – Evie, Lilly, Amber and Toby.
Edna’s son Dennis said: “Mum has always been there for me and has done all that she can by us, I am so pleased that so many generations have had the privilege of meeting her.
“I have so many fond memories with my mother – too many to count and celebrating her 102nd birthday is another one to add to the very long list.”
“Edna is such a kind-hearted lady”
The Sanctuary Care home’s activities leader Tracey Chater said: “Edna is such a lovely and kind-hearted lady, her smile can light up any room. It’s wonderful to celebrate such a milestone birthday with her loved ones.”