Eastbourne woman set to celebrate 103rd birthday

A group of Eastbourne residents are planning to celebrate their neighbour’s 103rd birthday.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 2:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 9:54 am
Dora Jones (right) with neighbour Christine Cole. SUS-210325-141855001

This will be the second street party for Dora Jones after similar celebrations last year in lockdown.

Christine Cole said, “We have just been neighbours for the last 30-odd years and that is what neighbours do. I have looked out for her over the last 30 years so we are just good neighbours”

Ms Jones became neighbours with Ms Cole 36 years ago after she moved to the south coast from London.

Dora Jones by Eastbourne Pier. SUS-210325-130327001

Ms Jones said, “I was born in Bermondsey. My parents had a sweet shop and we lived there.

“With my husband I came to Eastbourne one day and he said, ‘I like Eastbourne.’ And that is where we ended up.’

In terms of her secret to a long and happy life Ms Jones said, “Good food, no stress and clean living.”

Ms Jones also reminisced about the fond memories she has in the town.

Dora Jones (right) with neighbour Christine Cole. SUS-210325-130959001

Ms Jones said, “When I was younger I spent a lot of time with friends at the Hydro Hotel. My family always stayed there when they came to see us.

The Bridgemere Road resident also talked about how she used to sneak into weddings at the hotel.

Ms Jones said, “We used to join in with people’s weddings and get free drinks. Everybody thought I was one of the family.”

Ms Jones also told the Herald about how she was born on April 1 but doctors never thought she would survive, so she was not registered until April 8.

In regards to this year’s birthday, Ms Cole is hoping to have another socially distanced celebration that the community can enjoy.

Ms Cole said, “It will be outside our house, which is opposite to hers, and we will just have to play it by ear because you can’t really have a party as such but we will be making the best we can.

“We will have sandwiches and a few drinks and just have a little sing song too and that sort of thing.”