Birthday girl is great-great-great

A great-great-great-grandmother marked her 101st birthday at the weekend by having a party with six generations of her family.

Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 8:00 pm
Gaz 101yr old Lillian Howell PNL-151005-195414009

Lilian Howard, who celebrated the landmark birthday on Sunday, was born in Bushey in 1914 and met her husband-to-be Arnold at a fun fair in Berkhamsted when she was just a teenager.

They married on September 26, 1931 at St John’s Church in Boxmoor when she was just 17, and first lived in Bourne End before moving to the Hammerfield area of Hemel Hempstead, where they had three children - Harold, Pamela and Keith.

Sadly, Mr Howard passed away 20 years ago, but their daughter Pam Bartlett, now 72, says she has fond childhood memories of both parents.

Mrs Bartlett, who now lives in Bennetts End, said: “My dad was very much the DIY man at home.

“He made us our toys during the war time because they couldn’t buy any. I remember he made me a little wooden truck to pull my dolls along in because they couldn’t buy a pram.

“Mum was a wonderful knitter, she used to make all my doll’s clothes. We never wanted for anything.”

As well as being a proud housewife, Mrs Howard also enjoyed a part-time job cleaning for the town’s former mayor Henry Fletcher, and cared for both her parents and in-laws.

Mrs Bartlett, who says her mother has too many younger generations to count, added: “When I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday, she said ‘I want a party!’, so that’s what we gave her.”

The family threw the bash at the Royal British Legion Hall on Queensway, where they enjoyed musical entertainment with the plucky centenarian - plus one.

Mrs Bartlett said: “Mum has always been there for us, we could go to her about anything and we still can. She’s always done everything she possibly can for us. She’s been fantastic.”