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WEEKEND WEB: Bourne woman lived to 101 and saw the first motor cars introduced

Mary Ann Buckberry lived to the age of 101.
Mary Ann Buckberry lived to the age of 101.

We look back at the Lincolnshire Free Press this week in 1918, in the final year of World War One.

Mary Ann Buckberry died 100 years ago this week.

The centenarian, who actually reached the grand old age of 101, lived in a cottage by herself in Bourne’s North Street.

She was said to have “retained her faculties right up to the last”, and had a daily helper who visited her in her home.

However, after becoming increasingly feeble she had been removed from her home to her son’s house in Eastgate as it had become unsafe for her to be left for even a short time.

She passed away peacefully in her sleep.

Mrs Buckberry, had lived in Bourne for more than 80 years and was a well-known figure.

She came to Bourne before there was a railway and the carrier’s cart was her only way of travelling.

In her days, she lived to see the first motor cars introduced.

The early British vehicles of the late 19th century relied mainly upon developments from Germany and France.

But by 1900, the first all-British four-wheel car was designed and built by Herbert Austin.

Just two years before her death Mrs Buckberry had her first trip in a car, on a journey of 50 miles to see her granddaughter.

She also remembered when the ‘poor house’ was located on the site of the police station, before the building of the ‘Union’. (The Bourne Poor Law Union was formed on November 25, 1835).

The new workhouse was built in 1836-7 at the end of Union Road (now St Peter’s Road). It was designed to accommodate 300 people and the Poor Law Commissioners authorised £5,350 for its construction.

Mrs Buckberry had several children but only one surviving son, it was believed, who she stayed with during her last days.


There was a ‘scene’ at a meeting of Spalding Urban Council when a member placed his chair on the table and left the room.

Trouble arose over the election of a vice-chairman, and at one point “the storm seemed to threaten developing into a hurricane”, our reporter said.


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