CENTENARIAN Rosa Robinson celebrates her birthday today.
Rosa is hard of hearing and was not keen to speak to the Mercury herself and so her son Garry John and his family compiled a summary of her life history.
Born on May 4, 1912, at Market Overton, Rosa came from a large family named Finch. Her father Frederick Charles was a wheelwright and carpenter before switching to farming and moving the family to Essendine. Her mother was also called Rosa and she had five brothers, Eddie, George, Fred, William and Ernie, and one sister, Bertha.
Rosa was educated at Stamford High School and helped out on the farm after leaving school and then took a job in a Stamford cake shop.
Her main employer for many years was Smiths the dry cleaners, where she became an under-manager, working in their shops throughout the district when managers were ill or on holiday.
During the Second World War staff would take it in turns to sleep inside the shops at night on firewatch duty and one particular shop she worked in did get hit. Rosa also learned to drive ambulances and was taught how to use the stirrup pumps which were used to extinguish fires caused by incendiary bombs.
She later moved to Foresters Cottages in Ryhall and helped out in the village shop and bakehouse that her sister Bertha and brother-in-law Bill Nichols ran. Rosa was always a hard worker and her last job was at Pauley’s fruit and vegetable shop in St Paul’s Street, Stamford, where she worked until in her mid-70s.
In 1942, she married Syd Robinson, a storekeeper. Sadly he died in 1967.
After her retirement Rosa enjoyed gardening and was a member of Ryhall Tennis Club, Ryhall Bowls Club, the Mothers’ Union and the pub cribbage team, thoroughly enjoying her evenings out.
Unable to have children of their own, Rosa and Syd took in two brothers from a Barnardo’s home in Leicester, Garry John and Tony Atkins who were 10 and five at the time.
Garry, who is always called John by his mum and by many people in Ryhall, still lives in the village and Tony lives in Ireland. Rosa has four grandchildren, six great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren.
Garry said: “She has been living at Chater Lodge care home in Ketton since 2001 where she is very happy and is looked after by compassionate, caring staff. She still enjoys very good health, but is unable to get around much due to mobility problems”
The family will be getting together for a special lunch at Chater Lodge today and more members of the family will be arriving to see her on Sunday.