Reaching the 100 club

27 March 2014 in Mayor and Older people
A telegram from the Queen and a celebration with their families was the way Winifred Lee and Reg Batten celebrated their respective 100th birthdays.
Winnie Lee's 100th
Winnie’s party was held at the Resource Centre in Chargeable Lane in Plaistow where she has been a regular since 2005. Balloons, flowers and cake were the order of the day.

Winnie was born in Custom House and has lived in Newham all her life. She worked as a cleaner in factories and schools in her younger years. She has two children, six grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and three great great grandchildren.

Apparently Winnie’s father always said she was more trouble than all his family put together and always had plenty to say for herself. Winnie’s secret to a long life is hard work, a laugh and a joke – and a tot of whisky every night.

Mayor Sir Robin Wales with Reg Batten and familyReg lives in Manor Park and whilst he may no longer be as mobile as he once was, he has some great memories of his early years in Canning Town and particularly of the tragic Silvertown Explosion in 1917.

Aged three, he can remember being blown off a table at his grandmother’s house nearby from the force of the blast. He also recalls as a teenager, Mahatma Gandhi, the spiritual leader of the Indian nation, playing marbles when he visited the area in the 1930s.

Reg was also a keen photographer, especially of railways, the countryside and the docks. Many of his pictures have appeared in catalogues and town guides.

Sir Robin Wales Mayor of Newham said:”It was great to be able to meet two such wonderful people. They’ve got such amazing memories of the borough and have seen it go through a complete transformation. I hope they both enjoyed their big days and have many more to come.”