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Colchester Borough Homes' resident celebrates 103rd birthday on Christmas Day

Margaret Gilbert, a Colchester Borough Homes (CBH) resident who lives in Aldham, will be celebrating her 103rd birthday on Christmas Day.

To celebrate this special birthday, CBH presented Margaret with an arrangement of Christmas flowers, a birthday cake and a card on 18 December, ahead of the big day.

Born on 25 December 1914, one of Margaret's earliest memories is of the soldiers coming home from the First World War in 1919. After leaving school aged 14, she began working for Dobbie & Co Nursery. A keen gardener, Margaret used to enter competitions with her sweet peas and also has a passion for dancing.

Margaret is thought to have been one of the earliest tenants of social housing in 1921, when she lived in London Road, Colchester. Housing became a high priority following the First World War and the passing of the 1919 Housing and Town Planning Act. Colchester, like other towns and cities, began building its first 'council houses' during this period, providing good-quality housing in suburban 'garden' estates at the heart of the borough. Margaret would have been one of the first to move into these new properties.

Karen Loweman, Director of Housing at Colchester Borough Homes, said, "I would like to wish Margaret a very happy 103rd birthday on behalf of everyone at CBH. It's remarkable to be celebrating someone who remembers the pioneering days of council-owned homes in Colchester, and I'm delighted to see another example of the strong relationships that exist between our staff and residents."