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Oulton Broad resident Alice Draper celebrates 100th birthday

PUBLISHED: 11:37 29 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:57 29 June 2017

Alice Draper celebrates her 100th birthday.

Picture: Nick Butcher

Alice Draper celebrates her 100th birthday. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

Five generations gathered in Oulton Broad to mark the 100th birthday of lifelong resident Alice Draper.

Alice Draper celebrates her 100th birthday with five generations of relatives. Photo: David ParishAlice Draper celebrates her 100th birthday with five generations of relatives. Photo: David Parish

Mrs Draper marked the milestone with a family gathering attended by 29 relatives at Broadlands care home on Sunday, June 25, just a couple of days after her birthday.

“It was a great day – I enjoyed seeing everyone,” said Mrs Draper, who now proudly displays a picture of the occasion in her room.

Born Alice Hardingham, in Victoria Road, Oulton Broad, on June 22, 1917, Mrs Draper married twice, first to Arthur Taylor who passed in April 1977 and with whom she had two sons David and Derek.

She married John Draper in February 1984, who died in October 1988.

Now a great-great-grandmother with six grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren, Mrs Draper fondly recalls her life in the Lowestoft area even through she “can’t remember much about it”.

She said: “I can still remember when the Lowestoft Journal was only a penny though.”

During the Second World War, Mrs Draper aided the war effort working at both a cannon factory and the co-op factory making rations for the forces.

She said: “It was a scary time. We had an air raid shelter in our back garden which we would go down into every night.

“There were a lot of air raids but I was lucky, I was never caught in one.”

Mrs Draper volunteered for 20 years at the Lowestoft Club For Elderly People. Helping to prepare and serve the meals, she said: “I would go down and help out - I’ve got no brothers or sister so I enjoyed the company.”

Derek Turner describes his mother as a “remarkable woman”.

He said: “She has always been a person who has never done any harm to anyone.

“She is a wonderful person and I’m not saying that just because she’s my mother, bringing up two children during the war wasn’t easy.”

Reflecting on her landmark birthday Mrs Draper said: “It doesn’t feel any different being 100 – I don’t realise my age.

“I may not be able to walk but I have still got all my marbles.”

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