Gants Hill woman, 106, joins two other centenarians in birthday celebration

Julia Gilbert's 106th Birthday.

Julia Gilbert's 106th Birthday. - Credit: Archant

Redbridge is often called London’s greenest borough, but soon it may earn the label the capital’s most senior too.

Julia Gilbert's 106th Birthday.

Julia Gilbert's 106th Birthday. - Credit: Archant

Julia Gilbert celebrated her 106th birthday this week to join Nandubaa Vyas, of Gants Hill, and Winifred Goodbody, of Clayhall Avenue, Clayhall, as one of Redbridge’s eldest residents.

Julia described the day as “lovely”, after the Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Ashley Kissin joined the birthday celebrations at Jewish Care’s Vi & John Ruben’s house in Gants Hill on Monday.

“I had a lovely party,” she said. “I did not expect it - a real surprise.”

Also at the celebrations were her two granddaughters Belinda and Elaine Gilbert and friends Hetty Tauber and Freda Levy.

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Julia said if she were to be granted one wish it would be to have her husband with her.

Sydney Gilbert was only 33 when he lost his life in the Second World War, he left behind two sons, who were only 11 and eight months old at the time.

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Julia joked “trouble and worry” were her two secrets for a long life.

She also added: “I do not know how I got to this age.”

Dancing, she said, was her favourite hobby growing up and she would often visit dance hall People’s Palace in Mile End.

She added she would visit the iconic East End venue twice a day just to enjoy her pastime.

Nandubaa and Winifred - both now 108 - celebrated their respective birthday’s earlier this summer.

When asked if Julia expected to join them at the landmark age, she said: “No one knows what will happen next.”

Former bakery worker Lilly Greenway marked her 102nd birthday last week at her Mossford Lane home in Barkingside, where she has lived since it was built in 1935.

Her nephew Fred Quayle said Lilly had a “great” party with 15 close friends, eating cake.

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