Bosham woman celebrates 100th birthday

Chichester mayor Peter Budge with May Bell on her 100th birthday
Chichester mayor Peter Budge with May Bell on her 100th birthday

Bosham woman May Bell is celebrating her 100th birthday on Friday with family and friends.

Chichester mayor Peter Budge popped in this morning to meet the centenarian and congratulate her on her big day.

A family celebration followed, with a get together at May’s home in Taylors Lane, Bosham.

Middle child Sylvia Warry said May was one of ten children but only she and one sister were still alive.

She described her mother as ‘very feisty’.

May was born at Pangdean, near Pyecombe, on July 15, 1916.

Youngest child Janice Laing said: “Her father was a shepherd, so the family moved all over the place, including Shoreham.

“Her mother used to take onions, bread and cheese in a tin to her father in the fields.”

May went into service when she was 13 or 14. It is believed she met her husband, Frederick Bell, a builder from London, in Fulking.

After the couple wed, they moved to Bosham and May has now lived in the village for 77 years.

May and Frederick had five children and were married for about 55 years before Frederick died.

They were living in Bosham during the second world war and Janice said May even remembered an earthquake in Bosham.

Janice added: “She has had a very good life. She has always been nice and kind to everybody.

“She has got a very strong mind. She puts on her lipstick every morning and she loves the men. If anything, she looks better than us!”

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