Centenarian Betty celebrates with family

Betty Webb celebrates her 100th birthday. Picture: Derek Martin DM16148132aa
Betty Webb celebrates her 100th birthday. Picture: Derek Martin DM16148132aa

Littlehampton woman Betty Webb shared her 100th birthday with family, including her daughter, who was visiting from Australia.

A family party was held at Crouchers Country Hotel in Chichester to celebrate the occasion, as well as a gathering with other residents at her home in Claridge House, in Church Street.

Balloons and a card from the Queen DM16148166a

Balloons and a card from the Queen DM16148166a

Betty was born in London on October 9, 1916, the youngest of five girls.

Daughter Maggie Fraser said: “She used to have a pet chicken that she dressed up in doll’s clothes and put in a pram. She also played netball.”

Betty met husband Alf in 1935 through his sister Rosa, who was Betty’s best friend.

They spent their courting days travelling everywhere together on their bicycles and one of their favourite spots was Hadleigh Castle in Essex.

Alf and Betty were married in Southgate, north London, on September 30, 1939, and settled in Bounds Green.

Maggie was born in 1943 and son Brian in 1945. There were later two grandchildren, Damien and Isabella.

The family moved to Luton in 1947, where Alf became a confectionery salesman for Fry’s. Betty worked for nine years at the GEC in Kingsway, Holborn, as private secretary to the managing director.

They emigrated to Canada in 1960, staying for a few years, and when they returned, they set up home in Gosforth in northern England, where Betty worked as secretary to two architects until she retired in 1979.

Betty and Alf moved to Hastings to be nearer the children, then Felpham in 1981, followed by Barnham.

She suffered a stroke in 2007 and they moved to Claridge House in 2012.

Alf celebrated his 100th birthday in March 2014 but died nine month later, in December. The couple had been married for 75 years and had always been very involved with the church.

Alf and Betty had a strong Christian faith and on the occasion of their 70th wedding anniversary, they said this had the basis of their marriage and daily life, giving them much strength in difficult times.

For many years, Alf was a deacon in their local Baptist church, wherever they were living, and regularly sang tenor in the church choir.

They also enjoyed playing bowls together at Arun District Bowls Club, until around the time of Betty’s stroke, then found a new interest in computers.

Maggie said: “At the age of 90, Mum learned how to work a computer and although she is not able to cope with email any more, she loves to Skype me in Australia and browse her pictures.”

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