Rainham resident Violet Watts celebrates 105 years of living independently

One of Rainham’s oldest residents, Violet Watts celebrated her 105 birthday, but has no intentions of giving up her independent life in her own home.

Violet has reached the milestone despite dfying doctors orders by having plenty of salt in her diet and a teaspoon of whisky in her tea in the mornings.

Violet’s grandson, John Dobinson said: “She has always lived on her own and that’s just the way she likes it.

“She is quite happy for us to come around and look after her but she just likes her own space and things.”

John added: “She always has a teaspoon of whisky in her tea every morning and whenever we make her dinner, she always puts plenty of salt on it even if it has been cooked with salt.”


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Violet, who has lived in Rainham all her life, was born in 1907.

She was the only child of a farm labourer and a housewife.

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Violet went to Whybridge School in Blacksmiths Lane, Rainham until she left school at the age of 13 to work in a factory in Purfleet.

In 1929, Violet married the love of her life, William Watts at St Helen and St Giles Church in Rainham.

But things haven’t always been plain sailing.

In 1969, William died and three years ago, she went through the pain of loosing her only child Stella.

John said: “It really upset her when my mum died.

“They were really close and for a long time she seemed to go down from there.”

Violet celebrated her birthday with a card from the Queen and a special telegram from the Department of Work and Pensions.

John said: “She has always lived in Rainham and she just likes the area.

“When she was born it was very rural and she says that there have been lots of changes, but she says that they have all been for the worse.”

He added: “To me she has always been the best grandmother and I think she is marvellous.”

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