Happy 100th birthday Madge! See how former teacher from near Skegness celebrated

Birthday girl Marjorie (Madge) Hands.
Birthday girl Marjorie (Madge) Hands.

A former teacher in Burgh le Marsh, who was still helping young people with their studies into her mid-90s, has celebrated her 100th birthday

Born in Croft in 1917, Madge Hands was one of the first pupils to enter Skegness Grammar School when it opened under that name in 1933.

After gaining the necessary qualifications, she was accepted by Sheffield Teachers Training College and in 1938 became a qualified teacher, taking up her first post at Mablethorpe County School.

“The next year war was declared and henceforth life could be very dangerous,” Madge remembered. “Air raids were frequent and children and teachers often spent hours of a school day in air raid shelters. Nighttime was equally hazardous. One night my bedroom was hit and the ceiling fell on me. First of the many wartime incidents.”

After the war, Madge moved to Birmingham to live and teach.

“Again this was a new and very different way of life,” she said. “I enjoyed the many new experiences but missed the quiet life of Lincolnshire.”

Later, Madge returned to her home county, but this time as a headmistress of Eastville Junior School where she remained until it closed down.

Even after she retired, Madge continued to tutor children through their 11-plus examinations in the evenings and only stopped doing so in recent years, she said.

“Many have asked what is the secret of a long life, my answer is happiness and friendship,” she continued. “I gave my life to teaching because for 43 years I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“Fortunately I have always been blessed with many good friends to whom I could turn in good times and bad.”

Madge was joined by loved ones to mark her 100th birthday, receiving also a birthday card from The Queen and a telegram from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Madge, who lost her husband of 51 years Norman Hands (Pip) in 2000, said: “I would like to thank all my relatives and friends for giving me such an enjoyable party and for all the gifts and cards and good wishes they sent me.

“I am indeed most grateful for all that has been done for me to my birthday so memorable.”

The family said Madge is ‘loved very much by all her family and friends’.