Lillian With Her Card From King Charles Border

Great grandmother of seven, Lillian Stromdale, rang in her 100th birthday last Friday (7 June). She celebrated the big day alongside her family and friends at her home for the last 15 years, Mary Holben House, an independent living scheme run by Southern Housing in Streatham.

Lillian was surrounded by her fellow residents, who clubbed together to put on a buffet for the celebration. One resident, Olive, even made her a homemade cake. She shared her wisdom on the secret to a long life and her advice to the younger generation.

Lillian said: “My secret? To live a healthy life, try not to worry and surround yourself with good friends. There’s no point worrying about something if there’s nothing you can do about it. Be kind and treat others as you’d like to be treated.”

Kim Wells, Scheme Housing Officer at Southern Housing, added: “I’ve known Lillian for many years, she’s a wonderful lady. I can still remember when she moved in, she’d had a hip replacement but within a few days she was up and out and about. I think that sums up the kind of lady she is.”

Despite her advancing years, vivacious Lillian, who by her own admission enjoys a pint of beer, is known amongst her fellow residents for her inspiring zest for life. She joins in with activities, gets up to dance, and enjoys banter with her neighbours! The number of residents who’ve contributed to and gathered at her celebration, is a clear testament to her spirit, charm, and effervescent character.

Born in the east end of London on 7 June 1924, Lillian grew up as part of a big family, who all enjoyed playing musical instruments, making for memorable and lively family gatherings. A teenager when the war broke out, she recalls living in a house without a roof and refusing to leave the cinema during an air raid siren, because she didn’t want to miss the end of the film.

She married twice and worked in factories for most of her life. She was also a bus conductress in the 1950s. Lillian loved the job and still remembers when the ‘pea-soupers’ (now known as smog) blanketed London, and the buses had to drive very slowly, due to poor visibility. Her bus, number 14, still runs from Putney, though the route has changed a little.

On turning 100, Lillian concluded: “I don’t feel 100, I feel as though I’m cheating! I can’t say I feel 20 but I feel, well, normal. It’s a bit of a surprise but I’m pleased to have reached 100.”

Lillian Cropped

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