Lilian celebrates 103rd birthday with fizz, cake and friends at Kettering home

She was a senior lecturer at Tresham College in Kettering

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 7:00 am

A former Kettering college lecturer has celebrated her 103rd birthday with a party with friends, family and neighbours at her sheltered accommodation home.

Bridge enthusiast Lilian Taverner-Jones was treated to bucks fizz, tea and cake to mark her special day - on September 28 - and felt she had been spoilt at Sunley Court in Piper's Hill Road.

As a younger woman she enjoyed travel and visited several former students around the world including Australia, New Zealand and Thailand.

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Lilian said: "I had a wonderful day and feel very spoilt. I still have lots of cards to open which I am looking forward to doing over the next day or so."

Born in Great Addington, Lilian won a scholarship to attend Wellingborough High School. She had to walk to Ringstead and back every day to catch the train and walked across the meadows, having to wear wellington boots in the rain.

Her parents Henry and Rose Wright ran Great Addington Post Office and Lilian got a job with the telephone exchange when she left school. While she was working in Kettering she met her first husband, Alan Taverner.

She left her job when they got married in 1941 at Great Addington’s church. Alan was in the forces until he was de-mobilised in 1946 and they lived in Greenhill Road, Kettering,

Lilian worked for the Board of Trade in Headlands from 1941 until 1946 before taking on office work at Kettering’s library where she worked until 1958 when she was approached to teach at Tresham College.

She taught secretarial classes until she retired in 1981 at the age of 63.

Alan died in 1973 and thirteen years later she married her second husband Eric Jones, a personnel manager at Aquascutum. Eric died in 2010.

Throughout her life, sport was her passion especially hockey, bowls and tennis.

She added: "There is no secret to a long life - you never know what's around the corner."