Hainault woman celebrates 100th birthday with mayoral visit

Gladys Conway, who turned 100 on Tuesday, with Cllr Roy Emmett, mayor of Redbridge

Gladys Conway, who turned 100 on Tuesday, June 15, with Cllr Roy Emmett, Mayor of Redbridge. - Credit: Peter Johns

A Hainault resident celebrated her centenary in style with a visit from the Mayor of Redbridge. 

Gladys Conway, who turned 100 on June 15, was visited by Cllr Roy Emmett, as well as fellow Hainault councillor Mark Santos, at her home in Merlin Close, where she has lived for 31 years. 

Gladys was a fashion model before the Second World War and showed her photos to the mayor. 

Cllr Emmett said: “Gladys was in great spirits and was delighted with all the attention.

"She showed me some wonderful photos of her in her youth when she was a magazine model, something very easy to believe.  

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“She is still a striking looking woman who could pass for someone in their sixties rather than entering her 11th decade.  Happy birthday Gladys.” 

Son-in-law Peter Johns said: “It was a good day, the mayor came down and he looked the part. He toasted her, stood next to her, had some photos taken. 

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“She had the family coming in all day - because she’s one hundred she hasn’t got any personal friends because she outlived them all.” 

As well as the mayor’s visit, Gladys received a letter from the Queen. 

Peter said: “The irony was I was standing there talking to the mayor and the councillor and said ‘she hasn’t received anything from the Queen, the letter you’re supposed to get, the card.’ 

“All of a sudden the postman turned up. It was quite poignant that he turned up when he did.” 

Gladys Conway in 1942

Gladys in 1942. - Credit: family of Gladys Conway

Gladys, the oldest of seven children, was born in Hoxton in 1921 and worked as a fashion model until her marriage to Leslie Conway in 1942. 

The pair moved to Blackpool during the war, where their first daughter Barbara was born, before returning home to north London. 

Second daughter Diane and son Leslie followed thereafter and the Conways moved to the area now known as Redbridge in 1957, where Gladys has lived ever since. 

Leslie died in 2015 after 73 years of marriage and Gladys is now cared for at home after a stroke in February 2020. 

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