Solihull centenarian celebrates 100 years 'little by little' with a cake in her front garden - The Solihull Observer

Solihull centenarian celebrates 100 years 'little by little' with a cake in her front garden

Solihull Editorial 4th Jun, 2020 Updated: 4th Jun, 2020   0

FRIENDS and family of a Solihull centenarian gathered outside her home to celebrate her 100th birthday.

Eunice Ebbutt turned 100 on Tuesday (June 2), celebrating with tea and cake in her front garden in Shirley.

Her family and friends popped round to sing Happy Birthday in Eunice’s driveway due to ongoing lockdown restrictions.

Eunice, originally from Whitley Bay in Northumberland, said: “We’re celebrating all day – I’ll treasure a card from the Queen and but I can’t say I have done anything special to be so old. It all feels a bit emotional!”




She moved to Yardley in 1923 after early years in the north-east, with her brother James and her parents Nathaniel and Isabella (nee Inganni) Taylor.

Looking back on her life, Eunice said: “I was born in my grandparents’, Annie and Martino Inganni, house in Whitley Bay where my mother and I stayed for four years whilst my father was in service in the Royal Flying Corps attached to No 4 Squadron based at Aldergrove in Northern Ireland.


“Whitley Bay is where I spent my formative years I remember I fell out of my highchair trying to reach for something on the table the result of which was a split lip. I attended Park School Whitley Bay for a short time.”

“We came to Birmingham 1923 and lived at 47 Yew Tree Lane, Yardley then Farnol Road Yardley.

“I went to School at Church Road School Yardley until I was 14 years old, then I attended The M. P. Commercial School in Birmingham City Centre.

“In 1935 my first job was with Harrison Brothers in Mott Street. Birmingham. They made Bakelite products. I then had an office job in Bradford St near the Abattoir.

“At the age of 18 I worked at Hacocks garage in Fordhouse Lane, Kings Heath. There I met Eric who seemed to find any excuse he could to come to see me. Eric Who normally cycled to work in Cotteridge for Mr Henderson at a Radio shop

“I used to travel to work on the number 11 bus so Eric used wait for my bus so we could travel together. One day I had a phone call from Mr Henderson to ask me if I would mind catching an earlier bus as Eric Ebbutt was getting to work late every day and so our relationship grew and we got engaged on my 21st birthday 1941 then married on June 24th 1942 at Yardley Old Church – there were no bells, no choir. We had two children – Erika born in August 1944 and Alan in November 1946.

“In 1950 Eric joined a self build scheme and with others built the bungalows in Oberon Drive and we moved in to Number 36 on 24 June 1955 where I still live today.

“From 1956 I worked for S.M.C in Sparkbrook and Handsworth, Oswald Baileys’ in Solihull and Reed Corrugated Cases in Shirley

“Over the years Eric and I had many happy and memorable holidays in Norway for our 25th anniversary, followed by others in Spain, Tenerife, in 1983 to Canada to meet Eric’s cousin and then on to Michigan for my cousin Mary’s wedding. Years later to California and many in Wales and Scotland and of course Whitley Bay

“We renewed our vows on our 50th Anniversary at Yardley Old Church at exactly the same time as our wedding day and had a party in our garden afterwards.

“We were married for just over 60 years and sadly I lost my mate in 2003.

“Since then Erika and I have had holidays in Tenerife and driven to France twice to stay with extended family.

“I am always ready to get into the car and visit places even though it is getting a little difficult to walk easily but we find a way round any problem and use a wheelchair. I have been very lucky with my health and must say the Doctors and Community Nurses along with the Nursing staff at Solihull Hospital have been wonderful when I have needed them.

“Now here we are, all keeping a distance apart, but I have made it to 100 years old and the party will go on and on, a little by little through the week, until we can have the one that has been cancelled when we can all get together again!”

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