How old are you and how long have you lived in Alton?

I was born in the same year as the Queen, which makes me 97, and I have lived in Alton for nearly eight years.

What made you choose Alton?

I lived in Shepperton for 46 years. When my husband died in 1997 I stayed to be near friends, but when my friend Harry died eight years ago my daughter suggested I move to Alton to be closer to her and my granddaughter. 

At first I wasn’t sure, but my granddaughter’s in-laws had a flat to sell in the Cooperage overlooking the park and it suddenly seemed right. 

I really like people so the set-up suited me perfectly and I have not regretted my decision, particularly during Covid as it meant that rather than living completely alone, I was in a flat surrounded by people who I could see at a distance.

What do you like most about Alton?

I think I would have to say my friends. I have made lots of friends since moving to Alton, some of whom have now sadly died.

However, I still have plenty of friends and keep myself busy, going out for lunch, playing Scrabble, enjoying coffee mornings and taking part in all the activities at the Cooperage. 

I really enjoy people so spending time with friends is, for me, the best use of time. 

I am also very lucky to have my daughter nearby and love all the time I spend with her.

Tell me a little bit about a favourite time in your life?

I think one of my favourite times in life was before the war when I used to do a lot of dancing. 

At the time I lived in London, and joined the Highland School of Dance when I was only five. 

My mother was very keen for me and my sister to do activities on a Saturday rather than go to the cinema like all of our friends! 

She signed us up for dancing, singing and piano lessons and we started to be chosen to take part in shows. 

As a result I ended up taking extra dance lessons, specifically ballet and acrobatics, and I won a few medals along the way. 

Sadly the war put a stop to my dancing career, and I ended up working for Harrods, which was a rather different experience and a whole other story!

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

If I could have any dream, it would be to go back to my dancing days before the war. Nothing was the same after the war. 

We experienced so much fear during the war, including being evacuated to Wiltshire which seemed very backwards compared to London. 

But we survived and my hope now is to spend as much time as I can with my two children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. 

I have just come back from a lovely holiday with my son and his wife in Denmark and my greatest hope is to enjoy many more happy times with my family.

For more information on the Anna Chaplaincy, call Kate Powell on 07539 026546.