Norma’s wonderful life story and her 100th birthday celebration at Graysford Hall

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Norma’s wonderful life story and her 100th birthday celebration at Graysford Hall

Norma, resident at Graysford Hall, recently celebrated an impressive milestone by reaching 100 years of age.

In celebration of this momentous occasion, Norma shares her story and the wonderful birthday arranged by the team at Graysford Hall.

Norma’s Story

Norma had a lovely childhood growing up in Fulwell, Sunderland, near the coastline of Roker beach and was one of 7 children.

Norma married at 23 years old to James Davidson from Glasgow, Scotland, and they were married by special license with families blessing just before he entered the RAF.

Her fondest memories were time spent on the beach; she still remembers the sunshine corner with her siblings and sang the theme song. She also recollects summers with lovely picnics of egg and tomato sandwiches and fresh seafood. Norma used to pick some cockles for herself and take home for the family and remembers the climb up the cat and dog stairs from the beach very well.

She moved to Leicester for work when her children were small, and she resided in Birstall, Leicester, until moving to Graysford Hall almost two years ago.

Norma held many jobs, one of which was a civil servant for the first ever family allowance in Gateshead and was part of the team sending them out to couples with children. Norma worked in the café in Birstall every Friday and was well known for her rock cakes and meringue, in fact she was known as the meringue lady to most in the area.

Norma enjoyed living in Birstall. She first moved to Harrogate drive, and then later moved to riverside close to be in a detached house as both her husband, James, and son, Howard, played instruments, so this was the reason for moving to a detached.

Norma was a member of the golf club and played until she was well in her nineties and enjoyed Christmas dinners there with her close neighbors every year. Norma’s husband decided to join after giving up playing in a band. Norma said: “I have been a band widow all this time I’m not being a golf widow too” so she joined too and loved playing. Norma enjoyed playing on Ladies Day and later became a house member.

Norma loved shopping in Birstall, especially Hughies for her clothing. Norma also joined the local WI group, and they met every week. Norma and her friend had a stall in Loughborough selling her Meringue’s.

Norma first came to Leicester as a young girl coincidently she was sent to Braunstone Hall estate to carry out work for the war effort at the age of 18, so when she later moved here for her husband’s work, she was already familiar with Leicester.

Norma’s children Howard and Carole both went to school in Birstall; Howard became a composer writing music for films and taught composition for The Royal College of Music in London. Carol studied Art at Loughborough University, and I am told is a talented photographer. Both her children are very creative. Howards friend Paul was often round her house, she was like a second mother to him, they are still in contact today and Norma regularly visits them. Norma used to go for holidays in Cornwall when they lived there.

Norma’s birthday celebrations

Norma celebrated her birthday in style with two parties, one at Birstall golf club with her close friends and family who played at the club. Party number two was at Graysford Hall with her family friends and some of her close fellow residents. She enjoyed entertainment from Eleanor Mattley, a sing along show with songs from the shows and musicals, followed by a full buffet and a delicious homemade cake by our chef Thomas.


Article published on Wednesday, 1st February 2023