Norwich woman celebrates 100th birthday

Doris Davison reading her Kindle and getting ready for her 100th birthday party at the Great Hospita

Doris Davison reading her Kindle and getting ready for her 100th birthday party at the Great Hospital in Norwich.Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

A woman who claims 'thinking young' is the key to a long and happy life has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Doris Davison celebrated her milestone birthday on Saturday.

Mrs Davison, who lives in the Great Hospital, in Bishopgate, was born at her family's home in Ber Street.

She went to school in King Street and left when she was 14 years old.

Her first job was working as a tailor but she soon left and went to work in a shoe factory, which used to be near Wensum Park.

She married John Warman at St Saviour's church in Magdalen Street in 1939 and left the shoe factory when she was pregnant but sadly her baby was stillborn.

Mrs Davison moved to Oxford where she made parts for spitfires and helicopters during the war.

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But after three years, her father died and she moved back to Norwich to be with her mother.

'I had to come home and do war work so I worked as a bus conductor. I worked on the double deckers, I enjoyed it,' Mrs Davison said.

She returned to work in the shoe factory before she worked in the sewing room at the Jenny Lind children's hospital.

Mr Warman died when he was in his 40s and Mrs Davison lived alone until 1981, when she met John Davison while on holiday in the Isle of Wight.

She married Mr Davison, at City Hall three months after they met.

'We were together for 13 years and they were the happiest times of my life,' Mrs Davison said. 'We used to go back to the Isle of Wight every year and we had holidays to Scotland and the Isle of Man.'

The couple live in The Avenues and after her husband's death, Mrs Davison moved to the Great Hospital.

She enjoys playing bingo and devouring books on her Kindle.

'If you are going to think old, you are going to feel old,' she said. 'I feel just the same as she always has done.

'At the moment I am reading a novel by Dick Francis.'

When she was in her mid-80s, Mrs Davison took up art classes and paintings of the Broads, animals and Norwich Cathedral are proudly displayed on her walls.

'After I lost John I couldn't stay at home and cry all day. I saw an advert in the Evening News for painting classes at the Norman Centre.

'I wasn't very good at first but it was something I really wanted to do. If you really want to do something, you must stick at it and not give up.'

She celebrated her 100th birthday at home on Saturday, surrounded by her friends and a cake.

Do you know someone who is celebrating their 100th birthday? Contact reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772439 or email