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Britain's oldest homeowner, 106, bought West Wickham semi for £800 in 1945


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By Harrison Moore

A great-grandmother who has lived in the same house for 77 years has seen the value of her property rise from £800 to £550,000.

Winifred Flemming, 106, bought her three-bed semi after the end of the Second World War in 1945, and is believed to be Britain's oldest homeowner, still living at home.

Winifred is believed to be Britain's oldest homeowner Picture: SWNS
Winifred is believed to be Britain's oldest homeowner Picture: SWNS
Winifred Flemming, 106, has received two cards from The Queen for her 100th and 105th birthdays Picture: SWNS
Winifred Flemming, 106, has received two cards from The Queen for her 100th and 105th birthdays Picture: SWNS

But she refuses to move into assisted living.

The pensioner from West Wickham, near Bromley, claims she's still "fighting fit" and able to look after herself - and says there is no place she'd rather live.

Winifred, known as Win, purchased the home for £800, the equivalent of £37,000 today.

The centenarian employs carers who attend a few times a week to assist her with washing and house work, and a gardener to maintain her front and back lawn.

The few hours of help a week has been enough for her to live comfortably at home for the past decade, and she has no plans to move anytime soon.

Winifred Flemming's front room in the 1950s Picture: SWNS
Winifred Flemming's front room in the 1950s Picture: SWNS

Win said: "I worked extremely hard to afford this house - which I originally bought for just £800.

"When I moved to West Wickham it was a lovely area and I've always had lots of friends and family around here.

"I've got so comfortable here over the years and a lot of my most cherished memories all took place within these walls.

"I never considered moving as my whole life was built around my cafe business that I owned for 28 years.

"So much has changed since I first moved in it's hard to put into words how different the area looks when I step out my front door.

"During my time here I've done lots of work to the house and now it really is the perfect home. I plan on staying put for as long as possible."

Win was widowed after her husband Henry died in 1997 and had been living on her own in the property up until last year.

But the great-grandmother-of-four has since taken in her eldest daughter Yvonne Bloom, 84, who's health has severely deteriorated over the last 10 months.

Yvonne suffers from Bipolar disorder and relies on her daughter Janine Bloom, 47, who is one of Win's four grandchildren, to do her weekly shop.

Janine shops for her grandmother at the same time, and decided it made sense to move her mum into Win's house to make looking after them both a little easier.

Win was overjoyed to have Yvonne moving back in with her at this stage of their lives, and hasn't given up her role of caring for her daughter.

Yvonne is Win's only daughter, although she also had a son named Brian who sadly passed away in 2012.

Winifred Flemming mowing her garden Picture: SWNS
Winifred Flemming mowing her garden Picture: SWNS
Winifred with Henry Picture: SWNS
Winifred with Henry Picture: SWNS

Janine, a mum-of-two herself, said: "My nan is such an incredible woman.

"Up until recently she was fully independent, but she broke her hip just before her 103rd birthday which has impacted her mobility.

"She's such a caring person and she doesn't let her age affect her positive outlook on life.

"There may come a time where we'll have to start thinking about moving her, but at the moment she's going nowhere - she's made that very clear!

"She still takes cups of tea up to mum when she's not feeling well which I think is really incredible.

Winifred Flemming with late husband Henry Picture: SWNS
Winifred Flemming with late husband Henry Picture: SWNS

"Win is still reminding everyone when the bins need to go out every week, and what needs to be done round the house.

"She always says 'I wish I could get out in that garden' because she spent so much time there over the years.

"Despite having carers come in, she always does her best to help them dust and tidy up.

"When we first got her some help she found it hard to relinquish control because she always wants to do everything for herself no matter what it is - that's just the type of person she is.

"One thing she says often is 'I'll miss the simple things in life, like never being able to climb a ladder again', and I think that is born out of a fear of her losing her independence."

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