St Ives centenarian Bernice still feels young at heart

Bernice Westley with her husband

Bernice Westley with her husband - Credit: Archant

A St Ives woman who celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday said she ‘couldn’t believe’ she’d reached the milestone.

Family members from across the globe travelled to celebrate the big day with Bernice Westley, with festivities taking place at the George Hotel, in Huntingdon.

Bernice was born in Rugby in 1918 but moved to London in her youth, where she worked in a department store and as a secretary.

She married shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War but her husband was killed during the conflict as he tried to escape from France.

Bernice met her second husband Fred Markham, from Huntingdon, who proposed to her after his return from war service in South Africa.


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The couple married and moved to Huntingdon, where their children, Calvert and Christine, were born. They later moved to St Ives, but Fred died shortly after.

Bernice then married her current husband, Ivan Westley, 92, in 1992 and they celebrated their silver wedding anniversary last year.

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The two continue to live in St Ives and Bernice was an active member of several bridge clubs locally until recently.

Bernice said: “My mother would be astonished if she knew I lived this long. I was a sickly baby and there was some doubt I would survive.

“I can’t believe I’m so old, inside I feel a lot younger.”

Bernice has two grandchildren, a step-grandchild, and two great-grandchildren.

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