Britain’s oldest woman dies just a few weeks short of her 112th birthday
Britain’s oldest woman Hilda Clulow has died at the ripe old age of 111.
Born Hilda Heath, on Sunday, March 15 1908, Hilda lived through the reigns of five monarchs, survived two world wars and saw off 27 prime ministers.
She was born in 1908, the year of the first British Olympics, the first aeroplane flight with a passenger, and the mysterious Tunguska Event.
In those days, a loaf of bread cost a penny and a car would be $825 – which is more like $23,133 (£1,800) in today’s money.
Hilda spent most of her working life as a dress maker at factory in Balsall Heath, Birmingham.
She retired, aged 60, a year before the first man walked on the Moon.
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In 1937, when she was 29, Hilda married her love, Arthur and together they had one son, Barry and seven grand and great grandchildren who were proud to call Hilda 'grandma'.
She spent four years at the Bowood Court & Mews Care Home in Redditch, Worcs., where her room was decorated with pieces of Cornish artwork because of her love for Cornwall as a youngster.
Hilda became the oldest person in the UK following the death of 112-year-old Gwen Payne last June.
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Paying tribute to Hilda, Jackie Hayden, care assistant at the care home, said: "Hilda changed everyone's life within the home.
"I don't feel that she truly knew how much she was loved, although we made sure we told her every day.
"After she lost her speech Hilda would play us up by pulling faces at her dinners, I used to say 'do you not like it?' and again she would pull a face, she never pulled faces at the puddings mind."
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Jackie said: "I used to ask her if I was her favourite carer and she would smile and nod.
"Then I would hear another carer ask her the same and she would respond in the same way.
"I'd would walk in and say that I thought it was me, she would just wink at grin at me. She was always making us smile.
"We all loved her and were very proud of her.
"I feel privileged to have known Hilda and had the opportunity to have cared for her. She will never be forgotten."
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Dawn Leaver, Bowood Court & Mews manager, added: "We have loved being part of Hilda's long life.
"I will never forget the honour of creating some wonderful birthday celebrations for her and I'll remember her with a glass of sherry – her favourite tipple."
Speaking of her longevity on a previous birthday, Hilda said: "When you get to my age, it's just a number isn't it?
"I've had a lovely day and seen lots of old photos, my memory isn't quite what it was, but I don't do too bad!
"I'm not one for fuss, but it is nice from time to time."
The oldest person in the UK now is believed to be 111-year-old Bob Weighton who was born in Hull on March 29, 1908.
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