A family spanning five generations came together at Hadleigh Nursing Home to celebrate the 107th birthday of Violet Honeybun.
Mrs Honeybun, who has lived at the Kingsley Healthcare-run home since the start of the year, said her big day was made extra special by the appearance at her party of great-great grandchildren Michael, Sophie, Ethan, Freddy and Effy.
The daughter of a Thames lighterman and one of eight children, Mrs Honeybun grew up in Erith, in south-east London.
After leaving school, she was a civil servant up to the Second World War when she volunteered as an air raid warden.
She had met her future husband Henry in 1935 and they wed in 1938; he joined the Grenadier Guards during the war and was footman to Lord Lascelles, the Queen’s cousin.
Mrs Honeybun recalled that when Lord Lascelles married in Westminster Abbey after the war she and her husband were invited to the wedding.
After the war she did a variety of jobs, from working in Woolworth’s to being a personnel manager in the Post Office.
Mrs Honeybun said she never learned to drive because her husband, who later became a bus driver, drove them everywhere.
Her husband sadly passed away on their 40th wedding anniversary.
During her life, Mrs Honeybun has enjoyed a variety of interests, from knitting and crochet, making many jumpers for her growing family, to ballroom dancing and travelling.
She was also a member of a theatre group, selling tickets and helping with costumes and rehearsals.
When asked what was the secret behind her long life, Mrs Honeybun, who lived in her own home with carer support until moving to Hadleigh Nursing Home, said: “Drinking lots of nice, hot cups of tea!”
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Author: Stephen Pullinger