Search

Centenarian given 100th birthday to remember as Harold Hill firefighters give guard of honour

PUBLISHED: 09:00 03 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:12 03 August 2017

Eileen, centre, with the family in front of the fire engine, on 29th July, 2017. Picture: Catherine Davison

Eileen, centre, with the family in front of the fire engine, on 29th July, 2017. Picture: Catherine Davison

Catherine Davison

A 100-year-old great-grandmother marked her first three figure birthday in style, surrounded by friends, family and firefighters.

Born in the East End, the youngest of eight siblings, Eileen Gibson, nee Burke, has lived in Harold Hill since her husband Harry died.

Eileen marked her 100th birthday on Saturday, July 29 with a special event at Cole Court Care Home in Dorking Road.

And to mark the special occasion, her grandson-in-law Lee Wolton was able to get some of his colleagues from Harold Hill Fire Station’s red watch to pop down and make Eileen’s day.

The four firefighters gave the great-grandmother a guard of honour, and even bought their fire engine along to really cap off the party.

Lee told the Recorder: “It was a really great day, we had a good crowd out and she absolutely loved being the centre of attention for a little while and getting the whole family together.

“The fire engine and the firefighters giving her a guard of honour was meant to be a surprise but I think she had cottoned on.

“When the fire engine showed up she was in tears, she was just over the moon with it all and it was a great day out for everyone.”

More than 50 of the former machinist’s friends and family, including nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, celebrated Eileen’s life.

She married Harry at St George in the East Church, Whitechapel, on Christmas Eve 1939. Harry had grown up just a few doors down from Eileen’s home in Cornwall Street, Shadwell.

Harry would later go on to work as a member of London’s bomb disposal team and helped make the East End safe while Eileen spent her working life sewing war uniforms and taking part in the 1960s rag trade.

The decision to move to Harold Hill after Harry’s death was not an easy one, but she made it to be nearer to her three children – Brenda, Alan and Janice.

A well-known personality, it didn’t take long for Eileen to join a wealth of senior clubs, many of whom were invited to her celebration.

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00

The creation of the National Health Service in 1948 was not universally welcomed, as Prof Ged Martin discovered

Yesterday, 10:00

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Fri, 17:30

A musical variety group that spent more than 50 years performing in hospitals and care homes, still meets up to reminisce about the days of musical festivities and fundraising.

Fri, 17:28

Police in Hertfordshire are appealing to members of the public in Havering for help in tracking down a wanted man they believe is in the Romford area.

Fri, 16:40

These are the Havering roads to miss next week if you don’t want to risk delays.

Fri, 16:09

Rats swarming in and out of bin bags, roaming confidently across front gardens and gnawing their way through fences.

Fri, 15:20

Bob Carlton, a well known theatre director and writer has died.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now