Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire woman celebrates 100 years in the same house

Georgina Brown
Image caption Georgina Brown was born on 13 January 1912

She was born in a Hampshire village in January 1912, in the days before the Great War, votes for women or the sinking of the Titanic.

Now Georgina Brown is celebrating her 100th birthday in the house where she was born.

"I've had a telegram from the Queen, and from Iain Duncan Smith," she said.

Mrs Brown said her family had always lived in Hambledon, in the house which started off as a "little shed".

"We built it over the years. My father was what they called a master farrier, a blacksmith, so there was his business next to the house."

Mrs Brown says she grew up "mollycoddled" as her two brothers both died in childhood.

Playing hopscotch

She remembers playing games such as hopscotch in the then traffic-free road outside her house.

She spent hours in the stables with the horses, waiting for them to be shod and enjoyed outdoor activities, as a Brownie, a Guide and a Ranger.

Image caption Mrs Brown has lived in the small village of Hambledon all her life

Today she still sees horses in Hambledon, but rather than the farm horses of her youth, they are mainly used for leisure.

"I remember the first ever combine harvester coming to the village," she said.

"When that came in the horses went out, and my father spent more time in the shop."

Mrs Brown still owns the village shop in Hambledon, but lets it out now for others to manage.

She has two great-grandchildren, whom she describes as "her little pickles".

Gas masks

She married a man from the next village after meeting him at a dance in Hambledon.

The only time she left her home was during World War II.

Image caption Mrs Brown remembers the first combine harvester coming to the village

"There was a time I moved to Lymington in the New Forest, to make gas masks for the war," she said.

"I moved back again. I never really thought about why. It's the same with my two girls. One lives here and one lives in the next village, a couple of miles away.

"People come here and they say, isn't this a lovely little village."

Mrs Brown used to know nearly everyone in the village, which has a population of 1,000.

However today, many of her old friends have passed away and new people have come to the area.

She said: "Looking around the village, the changes have mainly been for the best. It's all improvements like electricity. But I still miss the old ways."

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