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Kent great-grandmother Julia Carr celebrates 106th birthday at Hythe care home


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One of the oldest people in Kent is celebrating her 106th birthday today.

Great-grandmother Julia Carr, from Stelling Minnis near Canterbury, is marking the momentous milestone surrounded by her loving family.

Julia Carr is turning 106 today. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Julia Carr is turning 106 today. Picture: Barry Goodwin

It is thought a woman living in Tonbridge is the county's oldest person, at 107 years and 321 days old.

But at 106 - having lived through two world wars and 20 different prime ministers - Julia could be the oldest person in east Kent.

She was born in the throes of the First World War, to parents who owned a huge farm near Castle Howard in north Yorkshire.

Until recently, she lived in Stelling Minnis with her daughter Pam and son-in-law John.

But she last month moved in to Abbey Lodge Care Home in Hythe, where she is the oldest resident.

Julia and her husband on their wedding day. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Julia and her husband on their wedding day. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Julia is now sadly in very poor health.

But speaking to KentOnline on her 105th birthday last year, she attributed her long life to organic food, an outdoorsy youth, and her parents' values.

“My parents were very, very sensible and brought us up to be well-behaved,” she explained.

“The reason I’ve lived a long time is I had sensible parents and a very healthy life, you see, on the farm.

“Of course now you pay extra for organic food. But back then, all our food was organic.

Julia pictured with her late husband, William Carr. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Julia pictured with her late husband, William Carr. Picture: Barry Goodwin

“And we had the beautiful air - it was all very, very healthy.”

Julia worked as a teacher before meeting her husband William Carr - a royal engineer in the Second World War, who was mentioned in dispatches for his bravery.

The couple had two daughters, Pam and Margaret, and relocated to Henley-on-Thames when they retired.

Julia was heavily involved in the church and the WI, and enjoyed playing piano and tennis.

Sadly, William died 37 years ago.

“They absolutely adored each other,” said Pam. “They were very, very close.”

Julia Carr, photographed for her 105th birthday last year, with her daughter Pamela Carr-Hurdwell, and son-in-law Jonno Carr-Hurdwell. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Julia Carr, photographed for her 105th birthday last year, with her daughter Pamela Carr-Hurdwell, and son-in-law Jonno Carr-Hurdwell. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Julia, who has four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, moved to Kent to be near her daughter.

Today, she will celebrate her 106th birthday with her daughters, her son-in-law Johnathan, and her granddaughter Carmen Louise.

Abbey Lodge has decorated Julia's room with balloons, flowers and cards sent from her grandchildren and great-grandchildren in America.

Manager Jo Fleming said: "We are very excited to celebrate Julia’s 106th birthday.

"Her daughters are so devoted to her and will be sharing her celebrations.

"Photo albums for reminiscence will be tenderly shared, along with the wonderful memories of Julia’s amazing life so far.

"Her memory remains strong long term and she continues to share her life with us daily.

"Her bedroom will be decorated to mark a magnificent age with a beautiful birthday cake to share with all. We will make her day very special and memorable."

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

Read more: All the latest news from Hythe

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