100 happy years of a life lived to the full

Dora with family and friends.
Dora with family and friends.

Centenarian Dora Southam has lived through two world wars, four Monarchs, 18 Prime Ministers, the technological era, personal tragedy and truimph, and at 100 years old she still knows how to live life to the full.

The Huttoft resident was born on February 2, 1914, in Kennington, London, just south of the River Thames, but moved to Mumby after the death of her beloved husband Will in 1983 to be near her daughter Jane and her son-in-law Chris. Dora’s mum was widowed at a young age while working as a needlewoman.

Her claim to fame was that she embroidered Winston Churchill’s initials on his underpants. Dora inherited her mother’s skills and made clothes for all the family including a wedding dress.

Her friend Norman Roberts said: “At the age of 14, Dora was South London swimming champion - a sport she still enjoyed into her 90s as well as dancing which she did at every opportunity including dancing on the table in her 80s at her grandaughter-in-law’s hen night.

“Her friendly and community minded spirit earned her a wide circle of friends who took her to shows at clubs in Skegness and Chapel St Leonards.”

Dora sadly lost her daughter Jane in 2012. She is having the time of her long life at the Newhaven Residential home and still continues to receive support from family and friends who helped her celebrate her special birthday at Beckets in Mumby on February 1 - one of many birthday parties held by Dora who has survived all of her siblings.