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Surprise 100th birthday party thrown for Gladys Widdecombe

Gladys Louvain Widdecombe, who spent most of her life in Dartmouth, was presented with a letter of congratulation from the Queen on Thursday, when she reached the grand age of 100. Family members, staff and dignitaries from Dartmouth Town Council joined Gladys at Primley Court Nursing Home in Paignton to celebrate her achievement.

Care home manager Clarissa Bautista and Stephen Crisp from Optima Care Partnership were on hand to throw a surprise party in Gladys' honour and conduct the celebrations. Cllr Richard Cook, deputy mayor of Dartmouth, presented Gladys with a formal letter of congratulation from the Queen.

Gladys was born in Dartmouth and lived there all of her life until she went to Primley Court in April 2009. Her father died in the First World War in Louvain before she was born, hence her middle name. Gladys grew up in Dartmouth and on leaving school worked in various shops as a sales assistant. Gladys lived next to a church in Dartmouth, attended every Sunday and eventually got married there, and had two daughters, Joan and Winifred.

Gladys had been a dance teacher in the past and still today dances and sings at events held in the home. Gladys likes to talk about Dartmouth, still holding the town close to her heart. At Primley Court, Gladys has the opportunity to keep up with her interests and enjoys art and activities, flower arranging, card making and painting ceramic pots. Gladys' family visit her frequently and have thanked staff at the home for hosting her birthday celebrations.

Article by Caroline Abbott, DevonLive.com
Photo taken by Andy Styles.

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