Open invitation to Fittleworth woman's 90th birthday party

There is an open invitation to all the friends of 90-year-old Elsie Payne to drop in to Fittleworth Social Club between 2pm and 5pm on Sunday, October 25, to help her celebrate her birthday.

Tea, coffee and cakes will be served, and the bar will be open for those needing something stronger.

Visitors are asked not to bring presents, but there will be a collection box available for donations to Chestnut Tree Children's Hospice.

Another villager now in her 90s is Anne Wilson who has lived in Fittleworth for more than 50 years.

Born in India in 1916, where her father served in the Royal Engineers, she sailed back to England at the end of the first world war.

She served in the WRNS and was attached to RAF Coastal Command during the second world war.

In 1942 she married Peter, a former naval officer, who taught languages at Dartmouth Naval College after resigning his commission due to ill-health.

His health continued to decline and, in order to earn an income, Anne studied at Trinity College of Music, qualifying to teach the piano.

They bought Three Chimneys in Fittleworth in 1958 when School Close, opposite their garden, was just a field housing Jack Strudwick's horse.

They had three children and when they went away to school Anne became a guide at Parham House where she stayed for 43 years, also guiding at Goodwood House for 25 years.

Peter died suddenly in 1994 and she reluctantly moved to The Old School where she has been happy with her two pianos in the old schoolroom.

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