INDOMITABLE Marjorie Bishop had no intention of missing the last Christmas party ever to be held at Midhurst’s Grange despite breaking her hip the day before her 100th birthday six weeks ago.
The much-loved centre is to close in February to make way for the state of the art new sports and leisure centre taking shape next door.
And the Chrismtas party was the first of a series of event planned to celebrate the building over the next few weeks.
Marjorie was one of 120 Grange Centre users from Rother Valley Together, the Over 55s club, Bowling Club, The Revitalise Class and others to sit down in the Liberty Hall for a festive dinner prepared by the Grange centre’s catering manager Carla Cobden and her team.
For starters there was soup or pate, then a full turkey dinner followed by Christmas pudding and all washed down with glasses of wine.
Even Grange Manager Mike Boyce rolled up his sleeves and helped the team out in the kitchen.
The hall and the tables had been beautifully decorated by RVT manager Petra Lynn and her team of volunteers who together with Grange staff and Grange trustees led by chairman Julian Goodale, served the Christmas meal.
Before the meal there was entertainment by an accordionist for Rother Valley Together members who got everyone in the festive mood with Christmas songs.
Once everyone was seated Mike Boyce made the official welcome.
Chairman of RVT Colin Hughes said it was the last Christmas gathering in the old building: “It’s like the old days and so good to see so many people here -let’s give the place a great send-off,” he urged.
He thanked all the Grange staff and Rother Valley Together staff who had worked so hard to make the event such a success.
Petra Lynn had collected Marjorie from the Midhurst Cottage hospital where she is recovering, in good time to join in the celebration.
The 100 year old broke her hip in a fall at her home on November 10 as she prepared for the Midhurst Remembrance Sunday service.
She was born in 1913 on the 11th day of the 11th month, the 11th child of George and Elizabeth Trussler and still lives a stone’s throw from her birth place in 1, Market Square.
Every year without fail she attends the service because her nephew, Ralph Trussler is one of the names on the memorial
She spent her 100th birthday undergoing an operation and is now recovering at the hospital.
“It was very painful at the time,” she said, “but it is much better now.
“Everyone has been so kind to me,” she said, “I feel good and I am looking forward to Christmas.”
Marjorie is hoping to spend Christmas with her son David and his wife Lesley.