Gallery: Jesse Mowbray celebrates 100th birthday

BRAMPTON was grid-locked on Saturday – there were so many cars parked on Miller Way that two buses became stuck and a PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) had to write tickets for two of the parked cars – and this was to celebrate a 100th birthday part

BRAMPTON was grid-locked on Saturday - there were so many cars parked on Miller Way that two buses became stuck and a PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) had to write tickets for two of the parked cars - and this was to celebrate a 100th birthday party.

Jessie Mowbray was born Jessie Coleman on June 13 1909 at Cross Hall Road, Eaton Ford.

She was one of three sisters and a brother born to Ernest and Jessie Coleman.

The young Jessie went to school in St Neots in Priory Road. She left at 14 to go into service and worked for a family in St Neots and later a family in Bedford.

She was in service until her late twenties. She married three times. Her first marriage to John Gould, who she married in Bedford in January 1939, lasted until divorce in 1942.

Her second marriage in 1948 was in Hamburg, Germany to Bert Watkin whom she adored. She was working for the NAFFI in Germany and he was the chief mechanic looking after the NAFFI lorries and vans. Her great nephew Philip Casey, from Bluntisham, told The Hunts Post: "She was devastated when Bert died while they were in Germany from a heart attack."

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During the war she drove an ambulance for the British Red Cross. In 1956 she worked as a nanny in America for nine months where she looked after a two-year-old girl called Beth Sue Tobin. They lost touch in 1971 - but on Saturday, on Jess's 100th birthday, they spoke on the phone after Philip found Beth Sue on-line. She had grown up to become an award-winning business woman - named Business Woman of the Year in Florida in 2007.

Philip said: "It was an amazing scene to hear them talking about the last 30 years and their time together in 1956. I cannot describe the joy they both shared."

Jess worked for several years for British Rail at Paddington Station. She married for a third time in her 60s, in 1974, to a retired builder in Swineshead, Lincolnshire.

She met him when she went to work for him as a housekeeper. But they divorced after 10 years. She then moved into sheltered accommodation in Orton Goldhay, Peterborough and moved to Hanover Court in Brampton in the late 1980s.

Mrs Mowbray still plays a crafty game of bridge at the Leonard Cheshire Home where she is the oldest volunteer in the organisation. She regularly attends her Methodist church and Brampton Day Centre. She is fully aware of current affairs and thinks the MPs who have been 'fiddling' their expenses 'should be locked up'.

Mr Casey said: "She is a great fan of Buster (Paul O'Grady's dog) and has been invited to go along to the show in September. She finds the telephone a major part of her social life and makes full use of it. She says the secret of a long life is a daily dose (or three) of sherry, a small brandy and a wonderful doctor.

"She likes to watch television but only her favourites. She also listens to the radio and is great fan of Aled Jones".

Mrs Mowbray has two great nephews, a great niece, two great, great nephews and one great great niece and two great, great, great nieces aged five and six.

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