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Celebrations as women mark big birthdays

Evelyn Palmer with Abbey Court Care Home staff, Gareth Slark and Jana Hellerova. By Lee Hellwing
Evelyn Palmer with Abbey Court Care Home staff, Gareth Slark and Jana Hellerova. By Lee Hellwing

Two Bourne care home residents have celebrated incredible milestones.

On Saturday (December 23), Freda Dewey was 106, while Evelyn Palmer turned 100 on the same day.

The pair celebrated their special occasions with family at Abbey Court Care home in Bourne where they both live.

Evelyn was born in a pub in Gedney Drove End in Lincolnshire and worked at a machine factory during the Second World War and as a chef.

Her culinary skills were so impressive she was taken on as personal chef for composer Roger Sacheverell Coke.

She cooked for a host of famous faces from the music world at Roger’s home including Yehudi Menuhin, who is regarded as one of the greatest violinists of the 2oth Century and Agatha Christie, who penned the Hercule Poirot novels.

She married husband Denis, who was a train driver. The pair lived in several places including Southend-on-Sea and Ruskington. He sadly died in 2007.

She said her secret to long life was “being looked after” by her friends and family.

Evelyn’s has a daughter called Hazel, who said her mother was “an absolute star” and “wonderful” adding: “She is a very caring person, she would do anything in the world for me.”

Freda was born in London and worked in the RAF as an office assistant during the Second World War, and it was during her time in the airforce that she met husband Fred, who died in 1990.

She also worked as as a nippy [waitress] for J Lyons and Co teahouse in London and as a post office clerk.

One of her earliest memories is being lifted up by her fathe during World War One and looking out her attic window to see a Zeppelin airship, which were used in reconnaissance missions.

She has two children Kenneth and Jennifer, as well as five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

One of her greatest passions in life has been playing the piano.

Freda said her message to young people who want to live long is to “work hard”.

She said: “If you work hard it will pay off.”

She is enjoying living at Abbey Court, adding: “It is a nice place.”

Daughter Jennifer, who lives in Bourne, said: “ She has been a wonderful mother.”


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