Toasting 104 years with a glass (or two) of sherry
email@example.com A tot of sherry and afternoon tea were enjoyed by one of the borough’s oldest and most long-standing residents on her birthday.
Winifred Cheal celebrated her 104th birthday with cake, balloons, flowers, and more than one glass of the good stuff.
Her daughter, Elaine Jefferies, and staff at The Grange in Kennington joined in the festivities, held at the care home last Thursday.
Elaine, 69, from Towers View said: “The home did a buffet tea, which mum really enjoyed as she’s got a bit of a sweet tooth, which she also indulged when we had a posh afternoon tea at Dobbies on Saturday.
“And she likes a tipple, so we toasted with a bottle of sherry. I suspect she may have had another glass later that day.”
Winifred was born in Francis Road in South Ashford way back in 1910, the eldest child of British Rail worker Henry Elgar and his wife Louisa.
She has remained in the borough throughout most of her life, save for a spot of travelling. A particular highlight was seeing the can-can dancers at the Folies Bergere music hall in Paris in the 1930s.
She attended Newtown School until the age of 14, when she began work as a seamstress at the nearby Railway Works. There she met her husband Oliver in the late 1920s.
The couple married at Christchurch in South Ashford in 1930, and had three children: Martin, 67, Elaine, 69, and Oliver.
Winifred now has six grandchildren, eight greatgrandchildren and one greatgreat-grandchild.
The Cheal family spent much of their life living at their bungalow in Mead Road, South Ashford, which Winifred and Oliver bought around 1943.
Winifred would continue to live there until 2009 when, aged 99, she moved into The Grange.
Sadly Oliver junior and senior have both died, but Elaine said her mum has always had an upbeat attitude to life.
She added: “Mum’s always been a very calm person. She’s never been very loud, but she’s always been very cheerful. She’s still very with it. Her mind is still very active.”