29th August 2016

Faces of The Village

Gwen Gant, who celebrated her 90th birthday last week.

Gwen has lived in the village all her life. She was born in Hope Cottages, Straight Road, and the family moved to a bungalow in Dedham Road after her mother suffered a heart attack. Both were council houses at the time. She started school at the Methodist Schoolroom (now the Methodist Church hall) from the age of 4 years and later progressed to St Peter’s school (when it was based next to St Peter’s Church) until leaving at the age of 14 years. She worked behind the counter at Percy King’s Haberdashery store in Crouch Street for 27 years until the shop closed. Gwen cycled there for 4 years until Went’s bus service started from the village. When it snowed she walked to Mile End and picked up the corporation bus. The rest of her working life was in administration with the DHSS in Colchester. Gwen has always been involved with aspects of village life. She was in the church choir for 55 years of which she recalls there were 30 members at one time. Gwen was an active member of the women’s section of the Boxted British Legion from 1946 until it closed and collected for the Poppy Fund for 44 years. She was Treasurer for 37 years and Standard Bearer for 35 years. Chairman of Evergreens for 20 years. On the parochial church council for 49 years but didn’t make 50 years because of a disagreement with the then vicar over the Remembrance Sunday service.

Does anyone know if Gwen is now the oldest person living in the village who was also born and bred in Boxted?

Editor’s note: Gwen reeled off all the numbers quoted above without hesitation. Brilliant for 90 years! No wonder she held the post of treasurer of the women’s section of the British Legion!

Percy King’s haberdashery store in Crouch Street, Colchester. Gwen remembers a butchers shop next to it and the children’s department of Percy Kings was alongside that.

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