Birthday cheers at Spalding care home for Violet, aged 110

Violet Davies-Evans celebrates her 110th birthday on Good Friday with staff at Ashwood Nursing and Care Home, Spalding, and guests John Hayes MP, with son Edward.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG300318-146TW.
Violet Davies-Evans celebrates her 110th birthday on Good Friday with staff at Ashwood Nursing and Care Home, Spalding, and guests John Hayes MP, with son Edward. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG300318-146TW.
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Spalding’s oldest citizen spent her 110th birthday surrounded by family, friends, carers and guests at a care home on Good Friday.

Violet Davies-Evans was far from alone at Ashwood Nursing and Care Home, in Spalding Common, where staff prepared a suitably impressive birthday cake to go with her collection of cards and gifts.

The former beautician and civil servant who was on “fire watch” in London during World War II, Violet experienced a birthday to remember in keeping with her unique milestone.

Gale Bull, manager at Ashwood, said: “Violet tends to sleep for a long time, but when she’s awake, she talks and sings which entertains everyone else.”

Born in Sutterton in 1908, Violet moved to Spalding where she went to school and later worked at Pennington’s dress shop in Hall Place before moving to Birmingham.

She went on to work as a beauty specialist for cosmetics pioneer Elizabeth Arden and a year before World War II started, Violet married husband Hubert and they stayed together for 37 years before his death in March 1975.

Violet tends to sleep for a long time, but when she’s awake, she talks and sings which entertains everyone else

Gale Bull, manager at Ashwood Nursing and Care Home, Spalding

Mike Lawton, of Warrington, one of Violet’s two surviving nephews, said: “Auntie kept diaries of her fire-watching work in London and she also did the cryptic crossword in the Daily Telegraph.

“Violet had an amazing circle of acquaintances, such as the actors Alastair Sim and Joyce Grenfell, until she moved to Oxfordshire with her husband who was a headmaster.

“When Hubert died, she moved to Osbournby (between Donington and Grantham) where she lived with her sister May and then Auntie moved back to Spalding in the early 1990s when May died.”

Altogether, Violet has lived through two world wars, 21 Prime Ministers, five kings and queens, the birth of the NHS, the computer age and man’s journey into space.

But family and carers all believe Violet’s secret of longevity is a combination of porridge, red wine, gin and tonic, as shared with John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings, who visited the 110-year-old on her birthday.

Mr Hayes said: “When Violet was born, there would have been horses and carts everywhere and she would have been a child during World War I which is extraordinary.

“No one begins life thinking they will live for 110 years and Violet has seen the world change remarkably in her lifetime.

“But she wouldn’t have lived for so long without the care and support of her family and all the staff here at Ashwood.

“The care, love and support of people around us is what gives us the quality of life, as well as the length of life.”

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