Woodside Hall resident Florence Boulton, known as Ronnie, has celebrated her 100th birthday.
As a child, Ronnie suffered poor health and spent more than a year in a coma. She also spent some of her childhood in a wheelchair due to back pain.
However, she went on to have an interesting life with a passion for plants. She has happy memories of picking cherries and gooseberries, planting lily of the valley and the trees and shrubs at friends’ homes.
Ronnie had a love of science and biology but botany became her subject of choice, winning a scholarship then gaining a degree to college.
Her first job was at Wickstead Hall as head gardener before she went in to the navy to train as a radar mechanic. Ronnie went on to train pilots in the use of radar.
Ronnie met her husband Frank and they adventurously travelled the world together.
From childhood Ronnie has shared her life experiences with her beloved teddy bears.
She has made collected bears, made bears as gifts and sent them around the world. She also provided Great Ormond Street hospital with teddy bears.
Ronnie wrote some 30 stories around her bears about countries, places, and adventures she had experienced.
Ronnie enjoys the odd tipple of either sloe gin or whiskey, which she says has contributed to her longevity.