Video: Pupils help to mark Cicely's milestone

HOLBROOK'S oldest resident has celebrated her 100th birthday with a concert by pupils from her former school.

HOLBROOK'S oldest resident has celebrated her 100th birthday with a concert by pupils from her former school.

Cicely Godbold has lived in the village all her life and was an influential headteacher of Holbrook Primary School for 15 years.

She was serenaded by the school's latest generation of pupils at the Orwell House care home on Saturday.

Cicely, who used to be known as Swanky because of the pride she took in her appearance, was also joined by family and friends.


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Ivan Taylor, Cicely's step son-in-law, said the day had been a huge success.

He added: “She was a little bit bewildered as to why so many people turned up!

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“There were a lot of family and friends and fellow residents, and everyone really enjoyed themselves.”

Teaching was in Cicely's blood and at the tender age of 14 she enrolled in a pupil teacher apprenticeship at Holbrook Primary School.

After qualifying as an adult teacher, she taught in Rushmere St Andrew for five years before returning to Holbrook.

Cicely, then known as Miss Nunn, became headteacher of Holbrook Primary School in 1954.

A great lover of assemblies, she is remembered for telling everyone to “stand up straight with shoulders back” while singing.

Before retiring in 1969, Cicely introduced the red school uniform, the colour that is still worn today.

A position as parish clerk followed, which she held until the late 1970s.

In 1976, she finally married Ernest when she was in her late 60s and they spent a happy 13 years together until he passed away.

The pair had been teenage sweethearts, but they went their separate ways because in that era girls were unable to become teachers if they were married.

The centenarian had no children of her own, but became a loving stepmother to Ralph Godbold, June Taylor and Gwen Williams.

Mrs Taylor, of Needham Market, said: “She is a marvellous lady and a lovely stepmother.

“She has never moaned about life and she has always been cheerful and interested in what people are doing.”

Cicely believes her long life is down to good health, a love of her career and marrying Ernest.

Are you celebrating a special birthday? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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