Beechwood Grove Care Home Resident celebrates 103rd birthday

Beechwood Grove Care Home Resident Gladys Eldridge celebrates her 103rd birthday

Beechwood Grove Care Home resident, Gladys Eldridge was treated to a bespoke party and a visit from Eastbourne’s Mayor in celebration of her 103rd birthday.

Our Beechwood Grove Care Home turned its Cinema into a private dining room for Gladys Eldridge and 14 members of her family to celebrate her 103rd birthday.

Gladys and her family enjoyed a special lunch, plus a handmade cake from the home’s chef. Eastbourne
Mayor, Cllr Gill Mattock also joined the celebrations to congratulate Gladys and present her with a basket of flowers.

Gladys has been a resident at our Beechwood Grove Care Home since June last year. Speaking about her grand age, Gladys who is a proud grandma to five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, says her longevity is due to her genes and a lifetime of healthy eating.

Gladys said: “I’ve never smoked or drank, and I’ve always eaten good food.  My Dad had an allotment so we had lots of fresh vegetables and no processed food, and I still eat that way now.”

Always one to look her best, Gladys had her hair done in the care home’s salon before the party and wore a new outfit staff had taken her into town to pick out.

Speaking about the celebrations, Gladys’ son Mel said: “We had the most wonderful day. Mum is never happier than when she’s surrounded by her family.  The staff here organised a first-class party, it’s been absolutely marvellous!”

Gladys was born in Tonbridge in 1916.  As a girl, she won a scholarship at the local grammar school and then went on to work for Sainsbury’s, ending her career as a head cashier when she married husband, Alfred, in
1940.

While he served in the RAF during WWII, she worked in Tunbridge Wells for Mr Malpass of Malpass Butchers in the office that controlled meat rationing.

After 33 happy years and two boys, Mel and Rod, she sadly lost her husband suddenly in 1973.

Mel said: “Mum has always been a singularly determined lady, she didn’t want to find another husband and she made the most of life and enjoyed foreign travel, going on holiday with friends to destinations like Russia and Romania. “She drove
until she was 90 and she only decided to move into Beechwood Grove because she was beginning to feel that cooking and ironing for herself was a challenge.  But it’s been an excellent move for her, she’s very happy here.”

The birthday celebrations also involved local singer, Gemma Stillman, Gladys’ favourite of all the entertainers who visit the home.

“We were thrilled to be able to organise this for Gladys,” said home manager, Jeff Levine. “Everyone should have exactly what they want on their birthday, especially at such a grand age, and it’s our job to make sure that happens.”

Gladys Eldridge with family members at her 103rd birthday celebrations at Beechwood Grove Care Home

Gladys Eldridge and her sons blow out the candles on her cake at her 103rd birthday celebrations at Beechwood Grove Care Home

Mayor gives Gladys Eldridge flowers at her 103rd birthday celebrations at Beechwood Grove Care Home

Gladys Eldridge with family at her 103rd birthday celebrations at Beechwood Grove Care Home

Gladys Eldridge with her sons and Eastbourne Mayor Cllr Gill Mattock cake at her 103rd birthday celebrations at Beechwood Grove Care Home

Gladys Eldridge with staff member, Sharon Ward at her 103rd birthday celebrations at Beechwood Grove Care Home