A CENTENARIAN enjoyed a fitting special day in Walberton to celebrate her personal milestone.
Elsie Kennett had plenty of delicious cake, bright balloons and streamers, as well as visitors from her family, at Walberton Care Home on Yapton Lane.
She has lived there for the past three years.
Daughter Audrey said: “Mum had a terrific time. She had a brilliant smile on her face all day.”
Elsie was born in Southwater to a farming family.
She moved to Bognor Regis at the age of 14 to become a nanny for a disabled boy.
“When she went into service, she helped to care for an invalid young boy for about seven years,” said Audrey.
“She loved her time there and still talks about it today.
“She used to run down the beach, pushing him in his wheelchair.
“When the young boy’s health deteriorated, his family moved to Switzerland.
“They asked her to come with her.
“I know she wanted to but her mother wouldn’t let her.”
That decision proved the right one because Elsie met her late husband Jim soon after.
They were watching a performance at the seafront bandstand and got to know each other.
The couple married at St Mary’s Church in Aldingbourne before they moved to South Bersted in 1938 and raised seven children.
The second world war saw blacksmith Jim, an engineer by trade, join the Home Guard.
Elsie stayed at home to look after their family.
She now has five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.