Great-grandmother who has lived in Crawley all her life celebrates 100th birthday

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A great-grandmother who has lived in Crawley all her life has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Violet Mary Bourne was described as a sweet woman who speaks her mind.

Violet, who lives at Hogshill Gardens, Southgate, was joined by more than 36 relatives at the party in Pound Hill on Saturday (June 20).

Her granddaughter, Sam Murray, 45, of Maidenbower, said: “The defining moment was when I presented the cake to her while she was sitting down and everyone was looking.

“As I presented her the cake her eyes lit up: ‘That is beautiful’, she said.

“She was relishing the day and I think there were relatives that hadn’t seen each other for so many years.

“We were just saying how significant it was for us that she has brought all of us together on a happy occasion.”

Violet has three daughters, Margaret, 76, who lives in Buckinghamshire, Patricia, 71, from Pound Hill - Sam’s mother - and Jean, 67, who lives in Somerset.

The three visited Violet at Hoghill Gardens for a quiet celebration on Friday.

Sam said: “We eased the celebration as gently so we wouldn’t overwhelm her.”

The large family gathering at Patricia’s home was a surprise vintage tea party. The cake was coloured in matching violet, pink and white.

Sam said: “She was in such good spirits.

“We are very close, I’m the oldest granddaughter.”

Sam said she does not notice Violet’s age when they speak.

She added: “She’ll speak her mind but I think she’s got a way about her that she’s very well loved.

“She’s very genuine and very open.”

Violet was born on June 19 1915 and grew up in 10 Church Street, West Green, near St Peter’s Church.

She was the youngest of six siblings - George, Tom, Jim, Win and Kitty, who have passed away.

She married Leslie James Bourne, of Haywards Heath, at St Peter’s Church in 1938.

Violet led an active and sociable life following Leslie’s death in 1982.

Sam said Violet was well known in town by attending the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service, Age Concern and the United Reformed Church. Sam said: “They all brought her a new lease of life.” She lived in Ifield Road, West Green.