A former Burgh-le-Marsh woman is expecting a special delivery today – a card from the Queen to celebrate her 105th birthday.
Sprightly Gladys Waite, who now lives at Westcotes Care Home in Skegness, will be marking the amazing achievement with a party at the home, attended by family and guests including the Mayor of Skegness Coun Dick Edginton and MP Matt Warman.
The music lover, who says she was taught music by her mother as she learned her ABC, will also be entertained by Skegness Silver Band.
Born in Bratoft two years before the start of the First World War, her family moved to a farm in Sloothby in 1917 where her parents, Charles and Alice Garlant, had a smallholding. She said: “I never imagined I’d be a farmer’s wife but, of course, I was.”
She and her husband farmed at Burgh-le-Marsh and they had six children, with one of her four daughters going on to become one of the first McMillan nurses.
Being plunged into the spotlight today is nothing unusual for Gladys, having twice played the piano on the Embassy stage in Skegness, and then being invited to officially open the Burgh bypass in 2007.
Mrs Waite said: “I was president of the WI and involved in other organisations in Burgh, as well as the first warden of Dobson Court, but it still came as a surprise when I was asked.
“They picked me up in a limousine and I borrowed a hat from a friend, who told me ‘don’t buy one, I have one’.”
A keen poet who once almost made it to Britain’s Got Talent, she will no doubt find time to entertain guests with one of her poems.
However, two lines from one of them show that members of her family who are no longer alive will also be in her thoughts.
‘Ever in my heart they stay, As fresh and young as yesterday.’