Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Villager who never left celebrates being 90

THE oldest woman in Stonor will celebrate her 90th birthday on Thursday.

THE oldest woman in Stonor will celebrate her 90th birthday on Thursday.

Edith Stanmore has lived within a couple of miles of where she was born in Pishill for her entire life and says she has never even considered moving, or going abroad for a holiday.

“It is such a lovely area that I wouldn’t want to move anywhere else,” she said. “I’ve never entertained the idea because this is home.”

She will celebrate her birthday at a coffee morning at a friend’s house before being whisked away for a surprise, although she says the occasion is nothing special.

“I said to my friends, ‘it’s only another birthday’ but they say it’s a special one,” she said. “I thought the special one was 100 and they said this would be a trial run.

“It will be so nice to see friends that I haven’t seen for a while. I hope it will be a nice day.”

Mrs Stanmore went to school in Pishill and attended Henley National School before meeting her husband, Jim, at a dance at the Crown at Pishill in 1941.

They were married two years later at Pishill Church by the Rev George Hall who had christened Edith when she was just five weeks old and was then in his nineties.

Mrs Stanmore said: “He knew me through my school days and I told him I would like him to do it because he had christened me and he said, ‘I am very feeble but I will do it’ and he did.”

The couple moved to Stonor in 1944 and Mr Stanmore worked in a factory in Wargrave Road until the end of the war.

He then began working at Stonor Park as a gardener, where he stayed for more than two decades. Mrs Stanmore worked in the village post office for 27 years after initially agreeing to help out for just one month.

“I stayed on and worked under three different people,” she said. “I enjoyed it because I loved meeting people.”

Mrs Stanmore and her husband started volunteering at Stonor Park soon after Lord and Lady Camoys decided to open the estate to the public in 1979.

She has worked there ever since, collecting tickets and selling guidebooks, including one to the Queen Mother.

Mrs Stanmore recalled: “She shook hands with me and I did a little curtsey and she asked how many guidebooks I had sold. I told her and then she asked whether she could have one.”

On another occasion, she greeted the King and Queen of Nepal.

Mrs Stanmore said: “I enjoy it very much, meeting the public and meeting new people.”

She and her husband used to attend all Stonor Cricket Club’s matches, both home and away, and Mr Stanmore was made vice-president of the club after he retired from the club after about 40 years. Mrs Stanmore took over the role when he passed away in 2001.

Mrs Stanmore regularly attends meetings of the Silver Threads club in Russell’s Water and has enjoyed helping to run coffee mornings to raise money for charity and community events for about 50 years.

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