Double century for friends

By Mark Elson in Local People

TWO friends from Bream had cause for celebration at the weekend as they each clocked up their centenary.

Ethel Blake now lives at Hanover Court in Cinderford and celebrated her birthday there on Saturday (August 5) with family and friends. Alice Cook, who still lives in the village, enjoyed a party at West Dean Community Centre on her birthday on Sunday (August 6).

Angela Temblett, Ethel’s daughter said: “Mum met Alice when she moved to Bream. They got talking and realised that their dates of birth were just a day apart.

“Mum was born in Woolaston and worked at Butts grocery shop and then at Williams and Cottons in Lydney.

“In 1942, she married Harvey Jenkins from Bream and moved to the village. After I was born, Mum worked at Hirst’s grocery shop in Bream and in 1975, after Dad passed away, she married Fred Blake and continued to live in Bream until Fred’s health failed.”

The couple moved to Lydney to be closer to their daughter, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Angela added: “After Fred died, Mum continued to be independent and did her own shopping, cooking and gardening until she fell and broke her leg three years ago. She moved in to sheltered housing at Hanover Court and met up with her cousin, Lucy Reeks, who is 105.”

Helen Lee, manager at Hanover Court said: “Ethel’s party went really well and she was surrounded by family and friends.”

Alice Cook still lives in Bream where she is looked after by close family.

Her son Gerald told the Review: “Alice has always lived in Bream. Her parents were florists there until 1950 and her father was a seedsman. When Mum was younger she helped with the business. She then went to work in the canteen at metal manufacturers Brico, now J D Norman, in Lydney.

“Mum was always very involved with Bream Flower Show and always entered floral decorations in the show, often winning cups.

“I have a sister called Janet Thomas and Mum now has five grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

“The party went very well and we raised £180 for Cancer Research as that’s what Mum wanted instead of gifts.

“You really wouldn’t believe that she was 100.”

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