Wisbech woman Hilda celebrates her 100th birthday
15:20 04 April 2014
A former teacher whose earliest memory is a Zeppelin bomber flying over Wisbech during the First World War celebrates her 100th birthday today.
Mother of two Hilda Cattell was born in Ramnoth Road, Wisbech, three months before the outbreak of the war.
She will celebrate her birthday with her family in the home she has lived in for 75 years at Second Avenue, Mount Drive.
Hilda qualified as a teacher at Homerton College, Cambridge, and began her career in 1936 at Wiggenhall St Germans Primary School, commuting by bus and bike from Wisbech daily.
In 1939, she married Roy Cattell, who was working for English Brothers and played for Wisbech Town FC.
She also taught at St Peter’s Junior School in Wisbech for more than 30 years before retiring in 1975. During this time she inspired thousands of students, including the late actor Anton Rogers.
She said: “When I meet people who tell me I taught them, I look at them – they’re probably now in their 60s or 70s or even 80s – and try to remember the face of the seven-year-old first arriving at the school.”
Mrs Cattell was a keen tennis player and didn’t hang up her racquet until she was 80. She played bowls at the Hudson Sports Centre until she was 85.
For almost 50 years she was a staunch member of Wisbech Inner Wheel where she made many close friends.
Her son, Paul Cattell, said: “Since my father died 15 years ago I have lived with my mother in Second Avenue.
“There are many things that I have learnt from my mother and my favourite one has been cooking.
“She has been an excellent cook and also a great teacher. I never forget what she has done for me over the years and have had many wonderful memories.
“She has been a great friend as well as a great mother.”