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Centenarian remains true to telegram vow
9:00am Saturday 17th August 2013 in Chippenham
After her second stroke, plucky Editha Edith Westcott vowed she was going nowhere until she got her birthday card from the Queen.
Now, after spending 100 years in Chippenham and surviving pneumonia four times, she has only another week before the long-awaited mail arrives.
Editha Edith Westcott, born Crook, grew up in Lowden where she attended Lowden School, and has outlived all ten of her siblings. She was nicknamed Fairy early on, both because of her fair hair and to distinguish her from her dark-haired twin sister confusingly named Edith Editha.
Mrs Westcott has always lived in her hometown, spending time in The Quadrangle, Patchway, Barrow Green and lastly Sheldon Road, where she has enjoyed singlehandedly caring for her home and long garden.
An enjoyment of housework began as a child while blacking the grate and, in her teens, she went into service. She worked at several houses in Chippenham, including Lady Coventry’s in Monkton Park, in one having to sleep in unoccupied beds in turn to keep them aired.
She later worked at Westinghouse Brake and Signal Company, where she was promoted to assistant supervisor. It was there she met Frederick William John Westcott, and Miss Crook became Mrs Westcott at the age of 29 in August 1943. Fred died suddenly in 1971 after 28 years of marriage.
After several childhood bouts of pneumonia, Mrs Westcott has spent her adulthood in good health.
Her daughter Mary Tuck, 69, who lives in Chippenham, said: “When she was taken into Royal United Hospital with her second mini stroke about 12 years ago, she sat bolt upright in A&E and stated in no uncertain terms that she hadn’t had her telegram from the Queen yet, which we interpreted as, ‘I am going nowhere until I do’. And here she is at 100, so she kept her word.”
Mrs Tuck and her sister Judith Davis will celebrate with their mum at a tea party on Monday, August 26, along with other friends and family including Mrs Westcott’s five grandchildren.
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