Party like being beside seaside for 105 year old

Edith Calvers celebrates her 105 birthday
Edith Calvers celebrates her 105 birthday

A card from the Queen and a beach party marked the 105th birthday of a Bedford great-grandmother.

Edith Calvers celebrated her milestone anniversary at her care home with family, friends and staff.

Her eldest son Russ Calvers said the home “put on a show” for her.

He said: “First, they organised an ice cream vendor to come to the door and give everyone an ice cream, then they decorated the living room up with buckets and spades to make a beach party and reminisce about Great Yarmouth, where she grew up.”

Edith was born in Great Yarmouth, in Norfolk, in 1911, and left school at 14 to work in a laundry.

Russ said: “She was very, very popular at dances and danced on the Wellington Pier, where she met her future husband, my father, Frank Calvers.

“After they married, they lived in a little two-up, two-down in Yarmouth, with no bathroom and an outside toilet.”

Edith had Russ in 1936, and gave up working at the laundry. Four years later, she saved his life during a Second World War bombing raid.

Russ said: “During the war, a pub two doors down took a direct hit and the debris smashed our little house.

“When she realised the bombers were coming she turned the settee upsidedown and threw me under it. She climbed under next to me and luckily we got out alive.”

Edith and her family then moved away from the coast before settling in Bedford, where she has lived ever since.

Russ said: “It was in Bedford that me, and my brother Jonathan, received a proper education. Mother always encouraged us in whatever we did, and encouraged her nephews and nieces.”

After a spell working as a tea lady for Fords of Finsbury, in Kempston, Edith retired.

Russ added she is now comfortable and very well cared for in her home. “She is loved by all the staff and made lots of friends there, many of whom she has outlived.”