Centenarian celebrations for Budleigh’s Betty

PUBLISHED: 14:55 20 February 2020

100th birthday of Betty Briggs. Picture: Peter Bowler

100th birthday of Betty Briggs. Picture: Peter Bowler

Peter Bowler

Centenarian Betty Briggs celebrated her birthday with friends and family in Budleigh Salterton.

100th birthday of Betty Briggs. Picture: Peter Bowler100th birthday of Betty Briggs. Picture: Peter Bowler

Surrounded by family, friends, neighbours and the town mayor, Betty Briggs celebrated becoming a centenarian.

Mrs Briggs, who has lived in Budleigh for around 25 years, blew out the candles on her cake marking her 100th birthday.

She was joined by family members, her neighbours in Cliff Terrace, friends from around Budleigh and town mayor Caz Sismore-Hunt.

Her next-door neighbour Chris Blanchard told the Journal Mrs Briggs, who lives independently and still makes her own breakfast, was 'overwhelmed' with the kindness people showed on her birthday.

100th birthday of Betty Briggs. Picture: Peter Bowler100th birthday of Betty Briggs. Picture: Peter Bowler

He said: "She enjoyed the day very much indeed.

"She doesn't have any children, but her husband had four brothers who have kept in touch and a number of relatives came down to join her."

Born in Bromley, she came from a long-living family with her mother Matilda living to 104 and her sister Marjorie 95.

Her husband Harold, who died at the age of 80, and her sister have been immortalised with a dedicated memorial bench on Budleigh seafront.

100th birthday of Betty Briggs. Picture: Peter Bowler100th birthday of Betty Briggs. Picture: Peter Bowler

In her professional life, she became a secretary for a couple of companies in London.

After her soon-to-be husband was demobbed from the armed forces shortly before the end of World War Two, the couple married.

Mr Briggs was the head of the Wool Marketing Board and when it moved its headquarters to Yorkshire, so did the family, including Mrs Briggs' mother and sister.

As part of her husband's job, she got to travel around Europe and as far away as New Zealand.

100th birthday of Betty Briggs. Picture: Peter Bowler100th birthday of Betty Briggs. Picture: Peter Bowler

Upon her husband's retirement, she and her family moved to live in Woodbury before relocating to Budleigh Salterton in the mid 1990s.

Within 12 months of the move, Mr Briggs died and Marjorie moved in with her sister.

The pair lived together until Marjorie's death.

One of the customary traditions of turning 100 is receiving a card from the Queen.

100th birthday of Betty Briggs. Picture: Peter Bowler100th birthday of Betty Briggs. Picture: Peter Bowler

This had special significance for Mrs Briggs, who tells the story of seeing a young Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, with their father who was the Duke of York at the time, from the top deck of a bus in Pall Mall.


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