A Sibford Gower resident will celebrate her 103rd birthday today (Monday).
Beatrice Tanner, nee Godfrey, was born on September 23, 1910 in Castle Road, Woodford Halse. She will celebrate her birthday with family at her home in Acre Ditch.
Mrs Tanner was the third of seven children to Florence and Frances Godfrey and went to the school in the Woodford Halse. She first started work as a cook in Northampton at the age of 14 in a home for retired nurses.
She said: “When I was younger my mother used to give me little saucepans when she was cooking for my father while he was doing shift work.
“I really enjoyed learning the different cooking techniques, my mother was a great cook.”
Mrs Tanner worked in Northampton for about two years before being offered a job at Sibford School via a friend. She worked at two sites in the village cooking for both staff and the children.
During her time at the school she met her husband-to-be Henry, who worked as a gardener, and they married in 1943.
“When Henry and I were courting, we would go on long walks and go on motorbike journeys in the countryside,” she said.
As newlyweds they bought their first property together in Sibford Gower and had their daughter Sandra in 1945. The couple remained in the village and held a caretaker role at the primary school for nearly 20 years, a role that would also be filled by their daughter for about 17 years.
Mrs Tanner said: “The work at the school was largely kitchen-related, which I really enjoyed. I would often fill in for other members of staff who were off sick.
Following her husband’s death in 1972, Mrs Tanner continued to work at the school to help her daughter until she retired at the age of 78.
Her hobbies include watching Countdown and Deal or No Deal, reading and spending time in the garden.
She has also enjoyed many holidays abroad, including trips to Spain and Italy.
When asked what the secret to a long life was, she said: “Good food, fresh air and working hard.
“I had a really good life with my parents and we enjoyed many happy memories together.”
Mrs Tanner has two grandsons, Jason and Simon, and five great-grandchildren.