Many happy returns for centenarian Ethel

Ethel Wrighton

Ethel Wrighton

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A CENTENARIAN celebrated her birthday in style by asking everyone to enter a balloon race.

Ethel Wrighton turned 100 years old on July 23 and celebrated with 80 of her family and friends with a party at Whaddon Village Hall.

Ethel Wrighton

Ethel Wrighton

Ethel, who lives in Whaddon, has three daughters, eight grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and three great great grandchildren, and they all helped to release around 100 balloons for the race.

Ethel was born in a census year where it was recorded that the life expectancy for a man was 50 years old, and just 54 for a woman.

The legendary Titanic ocean liner was completed in the year she was born – and sank the following year on its maiden voyage.

The top occupation for women was domestic service, which is actually what Ethel did for most of her working life.

Ethel Wrighton

Ethel Wrighton

She was a maid at The Cock Hotel in Stony Stratford during the 1920s before working in domestic service in various country houses including Whaddon Hall.

Ethel is a keen supporter of charity and over the years she has saved any coppers in her purse for Willen Hospice.

Her granddaughter Lisa Piselli said: “It might not seem much but when you consider the many years she’s been doing this she has no doubt contributed a small fortune.

The balloon race was also raising funds in support of the hospice.

Lisa said: “We have had a great success rate for the balloon race with 10 per cent being returned so far.

“They’re nearly all from Kent so I’m hoping that maybe one has made its way to France.”