FAMILY and friends of a lifelong Edington resident have been calling by this week to help celebrate her 100th birthday.
The number of people able to see Amelia Melinda Rose Burbidge has been restricted because of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.
Her grand-daughter Clare Allen said: “It’s difficult for us to celebrate her momentous birthday given the current Covid-19 situation we find ourselves in at the moment. Because of this she will not be able to see people who would’ve normally been with her on her birthday. 
“Due to social distancing and not being able to have more than six people meeting we arranged for a rota for her family who were able to pop by and see her from afar over the weekend and on Monday.”  
Lyn, or Lyndia to her family and friends, was born October 26 1920, the daughter of Harry and Rose Payne; Rose stayed at home to look after the children and Harry was a steam engine driver. She has one sister Betty, who is now 98 and living with her daughter in Southampton.
The two sisters both went to Edington Primary School and then onto Westbury secondary school – now called Matravers. 
Her first job, which was her favourite job throughout her life, was looking after dogs, particularly Dalmatians, and taking them for walks.
Mrs Burbidge met her first husband Douglas Watts when she was 17 or 18, through mutual friends. Douglas lived in the next village of Bratton and was in the Royal Navy. They married on December 26 1938 when Lyndia was 19 and Douglas 20. The couple started their married life by renting a cottage by the chapel in Edington but then moved to Westbury Road.
They rented at first but then bought the cottage from a Mrs Lawton. They then bought the cottage next door and converted it into a larger home.
They had four children, Michael born in 1942, Paul in 1944, Nigel in 1945 and Jacqueline in 1946, and Lyndia has six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. They used to go on holiday to Weymouth and a farm in Portesham in west Dorset.
Douglas spent 10 years in the Royal Navy and was away a lot of the time at sea. In wartime his ship was bombed and he survived several hours in the water waiting to be rescued.
Because of this he contracted tuberculosis and then spent several years in and out of Winsley House in Bradford on Avon, convalescing.
This left Lyndia to bring up four children on her own, wich she did while holding down several jobs.
Douglas died in October 1973, but Lyndia is still known to some people in Edington and Westbury as Mrs Watts.
Some of her jobs included being the caretaker of Edington School for 25 years, spending 14 years as the post lady delivering post on her bicycle to  Edington and surrounding areas, 15 years as the cleaner of the chapel in Edington, several years as a home help, and 25 years working for Mr and Mrs Gale as their housekeeper in Bratton.
From February 1974 until July 2014 she worked for John Darcy as a housekeeper in Edington. In later years she cut her hours and just did a few a week as a little part-time job, only giving up work at 92 when she had to stop driving.
She also raised turkeys and chickens which ran wild around her garden before being killed and sold at Christmas time. Lyndia also worked behind the bar at The Lamb pub in Edington, now known as the Three Daggers.
She remarried in late 1976 to Doug Burbidge. They lived on Westbury Road for a few years and then moved to a bungalow in the village, before Doug died in the mid-1990s.
Clare said: “She’s an amazing, strong and inspirational person and I am very proud to have her as my grandmother.
“She has worked hard her whole life, never giving up when times were tough. She adores her family and loves her visits from her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“She was always baking cakes, sausage rolls. At Christmas she always made mince pies! When her children/grandchildren went to visit they always went away with a homemade cake or two! She also made wedding cakes. My favourite was always her chocolate cake!
“She loved her garden and had a little greenhouse. She would spend hours pottering in her garden growing lots of fruit and vegetables. She always had dogs and cats too throughout her life. Her favourite cats are Siamese."
Christmases were spent with her daughter Jackie and grandchildren in Southampton. In later years she would stay longer over the winter months, going back home in March.”
Lyndia was diagnosed with cancer and had major surgery at 95. Whilst recovering in Bath hospital she got pneumonia and wasn’t expected to survive but with the help of her family and her strength and determination she recovered.
Sadly, her health has declined over the past few months and she is being cared for at home by her daughter Jackie. “Her secret for a long and happy life is to work hard, have a little glass of wine at 5pm and a brandy in the evening,” said Clare.