Bedford woman celebrates 100th birthday

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Bedford resident Gladys Fyers celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday, October 15 with family and friends at the Putnoe home of her daughter Claire Pleasants.

She also marked the occasion on the following Wednesday with a small party for fellow residents at Maydenbury House, Kimbolton Road, which provides sheltered accommodation for the elderly and is managed by the Bedford Citizens Housing Association.

She has lived there since September 2010.

Among Gladys’ numerous birthday wishes was a congratulatory card, with a personalised message, from Her Majesty the Queen.

Gladys has lived through many major changes and events during her long life, including the Second World War when times were particularly hard and food was in short supply.

Happier times included summer holidays spent at Clacton-on-Sea with her family.

The second daughter of Samuel Manning, a fire officer, and his wife Florence, Gladys was born in Lewisham, London on Sunday, October 15, 1916.

She moved to Bedford from Hitchin in 1960, shortly following the death of her first husband, Cyril Bailey, a police officer with the Hertfordshire Constabulary for 26 years.

For a number of years Gladys was a wages clerk with the Bedford branch of Pickfords, the removals and storage specialists.

Later, she worked as an assistant at a locally based beauticians.

In 1967, she married William Fyers, of Renhold, a partner in the former, long-established Bedford firm of W. Howkins & Co. an English timber merchants.

He died in 1976.

As well as daughter Claire, Gladys has one son, John, four grandsons, one granddaughter and one great grandson.