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Stylish Ivy's still smiling at 106 years old

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: June 03, 2014

  • Ivy celebrates her 106th birthday with her card from the Queen.

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WHEN Ivy Edwards was born King Edward VII was on the throne, London hosted the Olympic Games and you could a pint of bitter in the pub for a penny!

A bank manager would have earned up to £75 or so a year, a housemaid, around £10.

And if you were among the 50,000 or so individuals lucky enough to own a car, petrol for it would have cost the equivalent of less than 5p per litre.

How things have changed! In more ways than one, perhaps, as these remarkable photographs stretching back more than a century show.

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They tell the story of a little girl growing up into a schoolgirl, teenager, wife, mum, workmate, grandparent and now, pensioner aged 106.

By the age of two she was being cared for by a foster mother as her mum had gone to live in Canada with her new husband and other daughter.

It was always her mother's intention that when she was older, Ivy would join her in Canada but it never happened.

It was only just before she got married that Ivy learned that her foster mother had not given birth to her.

She never got to see her real mum. But in 1984 she was reunited with her sister Emily Graham, after more than 70 years apart.

Ivy grew up with her foster parents in Carmarthen Road, Waun Wen, Swansea and attended Waun Wen school. Aged 11, she moved to Llwyn y Bryn School —  the money for this private education came from her mother in Canada.

On leaving school she trained as a milliner and made all her own clothes — including her wedding dress and hat.

She married husband Tom at Zoar Chapel in Waun Wen on Boxing Day, 1933.

The couple had two children, Terry and Margaret, and moved to Pentregethin Road.

Tom died in his early 60s, as did her son Terry. But she has Margaret, four grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Before moving to the Bloomfield Residential Home in Sketty four years ago, Ivy lived in Belgrave Court in Walter Road.

Her daughter says: "She is a remarkable woman for her age and is physically amazing for a 106-year-old. She has had an extraordinary life with many fascinating stories to tell.

"She always loved fashion and was still wearing three inch heels until she was in her 90s. She still makes sure she is well presented and has her hair done once a week.

"She likes to keep busy and is always smiling."

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