‘It’s been a very special day’ - Mary marks 100th birthday

Mary Widgery (pictured) marked her 100th birthday at The Hermitage rest home in Whittlesey on January 18.

Mary Widgery (pictured) marked her 100th birthday at The Hermitage rest home in Whittlesey on January 18. - Credit: The Hermitage

A ‘proud grandma’ who has been living in Whittlesey since 1964, marked her 100th birthday on Tuesday (January 18). 

Mary Widgery was surrounded by staff at The Hermitage rest home in Whittlesey where she lives, as well as her family who visited at the window due to the current Covid-19 restrictions. 

Mary has been living at The Hermitage in St Marys Street since 2009. 

Throughout her time in Whittlesey, she was a proud member of Whittlesey Lions Club, Whittlesey Woman’s Institute, chairwoman of the Inner Wheel and a member of The Ladies Circle. 

As part of her centenary birthday celebrations, Mary enjoyed a beautiful afternoon tea supplied by her family for herself and her fellow residents which they all enjoyed. 

“It’s been a very special day,” said Mary. 

“I even had the girls from the hairdressers I used to go to come to the window to sing Happy Birthday to me.” 

Mary Widgery (pictured) marked her 100th birthday at The Hermitage rest home in Whittlesey on January 18.

Mary Widgery (pictured) marked her 100th birthday at The Hermitage rest home in Whittlesey on January 18. - Credit: The Hermitage

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Looking back on Mary’s 100 years, she was born at Lowfield Heath, Surrey, on what is now Gatwick Airport. She had two sisters. 

She sang in the local church choir for seven years, left school at 14 years old and started working in the domestic service the next day. 

Soon after the war broke out, Mary began working for JW Benson in their office. 

Her next job was in the planning of a factory making aircraft parts and then a materials controller, a job which she loved. 

Mary marked her 100th birthday at The Hermitage rest home in Whittlesey on January 18.

Mary marked her 100th birthday at The Hermitage rest home in Whittlesey on January 18. - Credit: The Hermitage

Mary married Les in 1942 and they lived in a bungalow next to her parents until he went into the army in 1943. 

Together, they had two children, a son and a daughter. 

Mary and Les moved to Berkshire in 1961 and then to Whittlesey in 1964. A year later, Mary took over The Baby Centre. 

Then, the couple opened a factory in the town in 1971 which is still a family run business today. 

Sadly, Mary’s son passed away in 1992 and her husband in 1996. 

Mary is now a ‘proud grandma’ to six granddaughters and a great grandma to nine great grandchildren. 

Staff at Mary's old hairdressers she used to visit in Whittlesey came to the window to sing her Happy Birthday.

Staff at Mary's old hairdressers she used to visit in Whittlesey came to the window to sing her Happy Birthday. - Credit: The Hermitage

Judy Wilson, manager at The Hermitage, said: “Mary has been very happy since joining us. 

"On her special day, she had many family and friends come to visit her at the window.

“She was especially pleased to see her two ‘wavy’ friends who wave at Mary from their house over the road from the rest home. 

“The day was perfect.” 

Mary Widgery (pictured) marked her 100th birthday at The Hermitage rest home in Whittlesey on January 18.

Mary Widgery (pictured) marked her 100th birthday at The Hermitage rest home in Whittlesey on January 18. - Credit: The Hermitage

Mary Widgery (pictured) marked her 100th birthday at The Hermitage rest home in Whittlesey on January 18.

Mary Widgery (pictured) marked her 100th birthday at The Hermitage rest home in Whittlesey on January 18. - Credit: The Hermitage