Winnie celebrates her centenary

Winnie celebrates her centenary

A special birthday party for Winnie Heathcote was held at Beach View Residential Home in Hunstanton on 19th April.

Hunstanton’s Mayor Maureen Howard was there with greetings and a bouquet from the Town Council while saxophonist David Young provided the entertainment.

Winnie clearly has friends in very high places as amongst the cards from family and friends messages of congratulations were on display from King Charles lll, the Mayor of the City of Brighton, Cllr Lizzie Deane, and the Mayor of Verona, Damiano Tommasi.

Sitting in her favourite chair by the window overlooking the sea Winnie posed for photographs with the Mayor and talked about her life. Born in Kingston-upon-Thames in Surrey she started her apprenticeship as a seamstress at the tender age of fourteen, a career that she continued during her working life. Just sixteen when war broke out she joined the Auxiliary Fire Service. “Because of where we were in Kingston we weren’t called out very often.” She said.

Music has always played a big part in her life and she loves to talk to David Young when he visits to play at Beach View. She also enjoys taking a walk over the road for a coffee on a sunny day with Debra Sautner who works at Beach View.

Winnie married Allan Heathcote and they went on to have a son, also called Allan. Her husband died aged ninety-six in 2016. The family also includes two granddaughters and two great-granddaughters.

Allan said: “This is a lovely party for Mum, the family are here along with friends and she’s really enjoying it”

“She’s always been very proud of her Italian heritage, her mother came from a small town near Naples.

“She’s visited Italy many times over the years and has fond memories of Verona so she was delighted to receive the message and photograph from the Mayor.”

When asked what was her secret of a long and happy life, Winnie said: “Contentment – and the occasional glass of sherry.”

Beach View have purchased a flowering cherry tree in Winnie’s name and on Saturday 22nd April at 2pm former Mayor, Cllr Adrian Winnington, will be planting it in the grounds of Hunstanton Community Centre.

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