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Bingo! Hilda's still calling the tune at 101
7:00am Wednesday 5th September 2012 in News
FIVE generations came together to celebrate the 101st birthday of former Barton bingo worker Hilda Smith.
Mrs Smith, who lives at Isis House, a care home in Cornwallis Road, Cowley, is 101 today and looking forward to getting a card from the Queen.
Her family gathered for a birthday party at her care home on Sunday.
Visiting Mrs Smith were her granddaughter Sharon Barlow, 50, from Radley, daughter Mary Barlow, 73, from Rose Hill, great-great granddaughter Faye Gibbons, five, and Faye’s mum, great grand-daughter Amy Gibbons, 25, from Sandford-on-Thames.
Mrs Barlow said: “My nan is such a character – she is my best friend. She spends a lot of time telling me stories and singing me songs and we always have a great laugh.”
Mrs Smith, who likes watching Norman Wisdom films, said: “I can’t help being old but I can help being stupid!”
She was born Hilda Painton on September 5, 1911, lived in Abingdon, and attended Drayton School.
She married Ernest James Smith in Oxford in 1933, after meeting him at St Giles’ Fair. He died in December 2003.
In 1946, Mrs Smith moved to Basset Road, Barton, where she lived until 2006 when she moved into Iffley House care home in Oxford.
Then in 2006, she moved into the newly-built Isis House care home.
She and her husband helped to run bingo in Barton community centre in the 1970s and 80s.
She worked at an old people’s home in Headington, before she was married and then worked as a home carer until she was 70.
She has five children, Jim, Michael, Mary, Joan and John, 13 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren.