Lily Thrower marks 100th birthday with part at West Road Church in Bury St Edmunds
A zest for life, lots of friends and copious amounts of tea and cake - these are 100-year-old Lily Thrower’s secrets to living a long and happy life.
Bury St Edmunds’ latest centenarian celebrated her birthday with a party on Thursday, January 9 at West Road Church, organised by her three nieces Sharyn Snell, Julie Eaton and Anne Willsher and their husbands John, David and Nigel.
In testament to her popularity, Lily was joined by more than 60 friends and family, with her Meals on Wheels helper, hairdresser and window cleaner amongst those who turned out to mark the occasion.
“It’s so lovely to see so many people here from different walks of Lily’s life,” said Sharyn.
“They have come to know and love Lily over the years and it’s great to have everyone here to celebrate this remarkable achievement.”
Lily was born Evelyn Lily Thrower near Bury St Edmunds - a sister for Audrey, Charlie and Jack.
At just 15 years old, she started work as a housemaid at Ickworth House near Bury St Edmunds before going on to do the same job at Hawkedon House.
Her work later took her to Culford School, where she met her husband-to-be Harold, who was working as a carpenter.
Once married, the pair moved in to Harold’s family home, where Lily acted as carer for Harold’s sister Hilda. They then set up home in Cornfield Road, Bury, before Harold’s death 40 years ago.
“Lily still lives at that same house and has done for 72 years,” said Sharyn. “Up until last year she even had the same fridge which still works today.”
And it’s not just Lily’s household appliances that are the picture of health.
Lily was in her mid 90s when she first stepped into a hospital for a cataract operation and has only recently started using a wheelchair.
At the age of 99, she was walking a mile to and from town around four times a week to have tea, cake and a chat at her favourite Marks & Spencer café on Cornhill, staff from which also attended the party.
“It ended up that we had to ask her to cut down on the walks because we were worrying about her. We managed to convince her to get a taxi at least one way,” said Sharyn.
Over the years, Lily has been involved in many organisations around the town, including the Women’s Guild, and has been a member of West Road Church for 25 years. She is also a keen seamstress and has travelled the world on group holidays.
Most of all, Lily loves spending time with her friends and family, which is made up of her nieces and nephews-in-law as well as her three great nieces, great nephew and their six children.
“Lily is so sociable and loves being around people and having conversations,” said David. “The minute anyone sits next to her she’ll start chatting.”
He added that Lily’s love for everyone was the key to her reaching 100.
“She’s the least materialistic person and is happy as long as she’s surrounded by friends and family,” he said. “She wants for nothing and I think that has served her very well in life.”
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More by this authorRhoda Morrison