Littleport women celebrates 105th birthday

STAYING active is the key to a long and happy life, according to a Littleport resident who celebrated her 105th birthday this week.

STAYING active is the key to a long and happy life, according to a Littleport resident who celebrated her 105th birthday this week.

Norah Bedford has always been a firm believer in taking an active role in the community and said it was one of the reasons she was still going strong at 105.

She received her second telegram from the Queen to mark the occasion on Monday and was also surprised to receive a telegram from the Department for Work and Pensions honouring her milestone.

Norah was born in Bluntisham in Huntingdonshire in 1905 and remembers hearing news of the The Armistice in 1918.

Norah’s mother died when she was just three-years-old and she was raised by her father, a local baker, and her auntie, who sent her to school in nearby St Ives.

She was educated to a high level and in her formative years and would volunteer to write letters for residents in the village who were unable to write.

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She met her husband Cyril, a farmer, in 1930 when out ice-skating on Bury Fen near Earith and the coupe were married soon after.

Once wed, the pair moved into Brahan Farm near Ely and helped with the war effort during the late 1930s and 1940s. The couple’s farm even played host to Italian and German prisoners of war who worked on the land.

Though she was an only child herself, Norah had two sons, John and Denis, who also helped on the farm in their early years.

Norah spent many years as a member of the Women’s Institute and was elevated to one of the senior positions in the organisation helping to organise events and trips for several branches. She was a lay member of the Diocese of Ely and took an active role at St George’s Church in Little Thetford.

The 105-year-old has also taken a governors role at dozens of local schools and spent several years as the chair of governors at Little Thetford Primary School.

In 1964 she retired with her husband to Lancaster Lodge near Witchford and she remained there until 2005 when she agreed to move into The Rectory residential home in Littleport.

Norah, who has six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, celebrated the occasion with family and friends at a party at the home on Church Lane.

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