Community-spirited centenarian from Hemel Hempstead celebrates 100th birthday in style

Una Taber moved to the New Town of Hemel Hempstead in 1951
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A former mayoress from Adeyfield celebrated her 100th birthday in style with family at Shendish Manor Hotel.

Una Taber turned 100 this week, with Dacorum mayor William Allen joining the family to mark the occasion.

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Una was born in East Ham and moved to the New Town of Hemel Hempstead in 1951 with her husband Les and their young son – the first of three.

Dacorum mayor William Allen joins in with Una's birthday festivities.Dacorum mayor William Allen joins in with Una's birthday festivities.
Dacorum mayor William Allen joins in with Una's birthday festivities.

Both Una and Les, who passed away in 2017, soon became involved in the community and when Les became a councillor, Una was active behind the scenes.

In 1995 Les and Una became Mayor and Mayoress of Dacorum.

Una’s working life began at 18 in an aircraft factory where she became a skilled fitter working on Spitfire propellers. After some time on the job, Una and a friend were encouraged to fight for pay equal to their male counterparts. The request was initially dismissed but with perseverance they finally wore down their employers and were granted the same pay as men.

In the post war years, Una became a home help before securing an office role. She also became involved in helping charities, eventually joining forces with husband Les to fundraise for a number of different causes.

Una is treated to a luxury birthday lunch.Una is treated to a luxury birthday lunch.
Una is treated to a luxury birthday lunch.
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In her 70s, Una ran a lunch club for the elderly at the Adeyfield community centre. And, in 2001, she was awarded the Gazette Certificate for her charity work.

In 2014, Una was interviewed by Talking New Towns in which she talked about the difficulties in moving away from family but acknowledged the benefits it had for her and Les.

In her later years she has enjoyed being a great-grandmother and seeing her family grow up. She also enjoys a weekly trip to Coffeemates at the Adeyfield community centre which has proven an integral part of her life in Adeyfield – from its use as a clinic and for children’s dancing lessons to Cooperative Guild meetings.

As well as the family event, the centenarian also enjoyed lunch at St Michael’s Manor in St Albans, with a final celebration at the Adeyfield Community Centre.

Una says her secret to a long life is ‘keeping as active as possible and all things in moderation’.