Oaklands Care Home in Scole celebrates Doreen's 100th birthday
Oaklands Care Home, in Scole, near Diss, laid on a special celebration for resident Doreen Webster on her 100th birthday.
Entertainment from The Jay Singers choir was followed by a performance by local vocalist Mandy Chambers and a private family party.
Doreen’s husband Ray moved into Oaklands in 2012 and she joined him a year later; her husband sadly passed away in 2015 but she has remained in the home for a decade.
Doreen was born in London on 10th May, 1923 as an only child. While at school she was very keen on sports and excelled at swimming.
On leaving school she secured a job in a factory in the Finsbury Park area of London that supplied the military, a job she kept throughout the war.
She lived with her mother not far from her place of work and recalled there were frequent bombing raids. In one they had a lucky escape when a German incendiary bomb hit the house. It took a large chunk out of the skirting board on the stairs but did not ignite. The area was also subject to attacks from German V1 rockets known as ‘doodlebugs’. They were known for the sound of the engine cutting out followed by an explosion. Doreen’s mother’s advice was to lie in the gutter on hearing this as this was the safest place!
After the war Doreen started work as a telephonist for the Metropolitan Police at Grays Inn Road police station. It was there that she met her future husband Raymond (Ray), a PC stationed there. Ray was born and bred a Norfolk man and joined the RAF during the war.
On demob, his old job in Norfolk was no longer available so he joined the Metropolitan Police. They were happily married in 1950. In 1954 they had a son Graeme, their only child. Doreen remained a telephonist now working for the MOD, while Ray stayed in the police and became a sergeant and an advanced driving instructor at the Met Police driving school in Hendon.
In the early 1980s they moved back to Norfolk living in Roydon, near Diss. Both were active in the Diss branch of the Royal Air Force Association and made many friends there. Doreen enjoyed her trips into Diss using the border hopper bus where many local shops knew her and they always had a kind word to say about her. After retirement both Doreen and Ray enjoyed spending long holiday breaks during the winter months in the Canary Islands that gave them many fond memories together.
Unfortunately, Ray developed dementia and moved into Oaklands in 2012.
Click here to learn more about Oaklands care home
Author: Stephen Pullinger