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Ivy Woolcock celebrates 107th birthday in Gravesend

By Daniel Green

At the grand old age of 107, Ivy Woolcock is thought to be one of the oldest people in Kent.

But with parents who both lived long lives, reaching the milestone perhaps isn’t so much of a surprise.

Mrs Woolcock celebrated with lunch and a party, which was attended by her daughters, Ann, 75, and Elizabeth, 71.

Ivy Woolcock celebrates her 107th birthday party
Ivy Woolcock celebrates her 107th birthday party

Gravesham’s mayor, Cllr Harold Craske, who visited her on the morning of her birthday, said: “I wish Ivy all the best for many years to come - 107 is some milestone.”

Mrs Woolcock has been attending Christ Church, in Old Road East, Gravesend, since 1939 and Reverend Jacqueline Littlewood was also among the visitors.

She said: “Ivy is a very much valued member of the congregation at Christ Church. “We look forward to seeing her for many years.”

Mrs Woolcock of Old Road East, Gravesend, was born in Sittingbourne in 1911 and attended Sittingbourne County School.

She later trained as a buyer at Harrods before working at John Lewis’s flagship store in London’s Oxford Street.

The avid traveller then gave up that work to care for her two children, Ann and Elizabeth.

Mrs Woolcock married Francis Woolcock, who was a pilot stationed in North Africa during the Second World War, at St John The Evangelist in Bexley Village, the same year she came to the town.

“Pure luck is the reason I have got to this age I should think. I don’t get drunk regularly; I imagine that’s something to do with it" - Ivy Woolcock

She first moved to a flat in Pelham Road and was a member of Southfleet’s Women Institutes. She and her husband often followed Kent County Cricket.

She said: “Pure luck is the reason I have got to this age I should think. “I don’t get drunk regularly; I imagine that’s something to do with it.

“I don’t mind being three years away from being 110, you have to get on with it.

“I have never thought about being the oldest person in the borough.

“During the air raids in the war I would throw food out of the window to the wardens who walked around the block.”

Mrs Woolcock, who resides at Orchard Cottage, a care home, has four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

At the age of 106 she told the Messenger: “The thing is to never lose interest in life. There’s always something to think about and talk about.”

The stay-at-home housewife, who moved to Gravesend due to her husband’s work in 1939 at the age of 28, classed luck and not regularly drinking as the key to her long life.

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