Thank You to Tony for this piece …
Betty Gordon raised a glass of bubbly to thank neighbours, friends and carers who had come to wish her a happy 100th birthday at her Abingdon home. They all observed strict social distancing outdoors and cheered as Betty, with obvious delight, cut the cake and showed her birthday card from the Queen.
Other cards came from friends far and wide. Neighbours had provided balloons and streamers, scones and cupcakes and a pile of presents including smoked salmon for breakfast and a T-shirt saying “Betty, the wee Scottie” with a picture of a Scottie dog.
Betty was born on 21 July 1920 in Caithness on the northern tip of Scotland. She remembers walking to primary school through snow that was knee-high. ‘That made me tough,‘ she said. She lived with her parents in Edinburgh after that but when her father died her mother went to London to find work. Betty stayed on at school until she was 16 then went to join her mother in London. She loved looking after children, and had a job with one family for seven years, stopping only when her own son was born.
Betty and her husband Charles moved to Abingdon from Kennington in 1978. They attended St Helen’s Church and did Scottish Country Dancing. They had a son who was tragically killed in a car accident at age 18. For 10 years Betty nursed Charles who had Alzheimer’s disease, pushing him to church in his wheelchair until he died in 1997. Betty then moved to St Nicolas Church which was closer to her home. She helped as sacristan from 2006 to 2012. In 2015 she suffered several strokes and could no longer go to church.