A GREAT-GRAND-MOTHER born and bred in Suffolk is celebrating her 100th birthday this weekend with her family.
Ethel Walton is 100 on Sunday and will be partying the day away with her family and friends.
Mrs Walton, who was born in Rougham on July 31, 1911, has spent only two years away from her home county.
After leaving school at 14, she spent two years working in Cheshire as a housemaid, before moving back to Rougham.
“I wanted to come back to Suffolk,” she said.
Mrs Walton married Ernest in 1934 and moved to Blomfield Street, in Bury, where she has lived ever since.
She had two children, son Michael in 1937 and daughter Marion in 1946, and is now a grandmother to four and has five great-grandchildren.
She worked as a housemaid at a number of well-known local hotels, including Ravenwood Hall, in Rougham, and The Priory, in Bury.
She also worked at a clothing factory in Tayfen Road for many years before it closed, and was a housekeeper in Great Barton.
She worked as a cleaner at Bury restaurant Maison Bleu until she broke her leg, at the age of 90, when she finally retired.
Mrs Walton, who has lived alone since her husband died 15 years ago, has certainly seen Bury St Edmunds change during the 77 years she has lived in her Blomfield Street town house.
“There is no comparison – it was a little Suffolk town and now it has expanded everywhere.
“But I wouldn’t live anywhere else.”
Mrs Walton’s family have organised a special surprise for her birthday this weekend.
The great-grandmother, who has a passion for gardening and won a Bury in Bloom gold award for her garden last year, said: “I’m looking forward to it and to getting together with everyone, but I don’t feel any different.”