Newbury 101-year-old reveals secret to long life

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A local care home has celebrated the 101st birthday of popular resident, Kathleen Gibbs, who has attributed her long and happy life to plenty of good company and eating home grown greens!

Kath celebrated the impressive milestone last month with family members, friends and residents at Winchcombe Place care home.

Kath Gibbs said: ‘There is no secret really, just living a normal life and being interested in everything going on around you. Drinking milk, eating fruit and vegetables from the garden and plenty of company helps too!”

Stephanie Jones, home manager at Winchcombe Place, said: “We always like to make an occasion of birthdays and Kath’s 101st birthday is no exception. We made sure that she had a great day and our head chef, Gary Shaw, prepared a special birthday cake to mark the milestone. It was lovely to see all of her family and friends around her to celebrate the occasion.”
Kath Gibbs was born on 23rd August 1915 in Newbury and she has continued to live in the town throughout her life.  Kath attended the Council Modern School before leaving at the age of 15 to take up a job in the ladies department at Benyons of Newbury, a department store where she worked for 12 years. 

Kath found love with Robert during the Second World War, and they tied the knot on 31st December in 1941 when Robert had a 72-hour pass from the army. 

From 1941 to 1954, Kath worked for Southern Electric as a clerk.  Her husband also worked for Southern Electric as an accountant when he came out of the army.  When the war ended, Kath and her husband rented a house for a few years, before making the decision to build a house of their own.  Kath eventually retired aged 44 to spend time looking after the house.  Married for 57 years, they had no family but were very happy helping others.  After her husband passed away Kath had wonderful friends who made sure she was well looked after.

Over the years Kath has also committed much of her time to supporting her local church, St Johns Church of Newbury. She helped with their activities and services, and members of the church often drop in to Winchcombe Place to pay Kath a visit.  Kath’s husband was church warden and she supported him in this role.  After the war, the church had to be rebuilt and Kath and Robert helped with fundraising for this.
Kath remained living in her own home until she was 99 years old.  After a number of falls, she decided she did not want to live alone and made the move to Winchcombe Place.  At the home, Kath enjoys knitting, sewing and helping in the garden and she generally takes an interest in all the activity within the home.

Open to new residents

Maple Crescent, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 1LN

Winchcombe Place

Winchcombe Place

  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Day club

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