Women share special day

Mabel Stickland turned 100 on Sunday.
Mabel Stickland turned 100 on Sunday.
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Strangers Elsie Bellinger and Mabel Stickland shared a special milestone on Sunday.

The centenarians, born on the same day 100 years ago, both moved to Bury St Edmunds after marrying their late husbands, both called Cecil, and both are the oldest resident where they live.

Elsie Bellinger, who has lived most her life in Rushbrooke, turned 100 on Sunday.''Pictured: Elsie with her family

Elsie Bellinger, who has lived most her life in Rushbrooke, turned 100 on Sunday.''Pictured: Elsie with her family

Originally from Dorset, Elsie moved to Rushbrooke in 1939 so her husband could be employed by the Rushbrooke Estate.

Known as a keen Eastgate Club bowler and a 40-year Inner Wheel member, Elsie moved to The Martins residential home in 2005.

On Sunday, a trio of singers celebrated her birthday with son Peter, her three grand children and four great-grand children.

“She’s like me,” said Elsie, opening her card from the Queen, “ she’s lived a long time but she’s still got a long way to go.”

Born in London, Mabel (known as May) married a policeman and settled in Bury after he completed his service in around 1950.

The mother of four, grandmother of nine, great-grandmother of seven and great-great-great grandmother of one moved to Parkway House around 27 years ago.

“I don’t feel 100,” she said, “But I put myself in the Lord’s hands every morning.”