Resident Reaches Milestone Royal Telegram Birthday

Flo Hebditch celebrates with friends and family

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Florence Hebditch

Baby Flo

Florence Hebditch

Flo in the 1920's

Lyons Tea House

Flo as a Joe Lyons 'nippy' (2nd row front right) with many  other waitresses

Florence Hebditch now

Flo now


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It was a special day on June 6th 2009 when Darton Court’s oldest resident Flo Hebditch reached her 100th birthday.

When Flo was born, in 1909, the old queen had been dead only eight years, her son Edward VII was king and the Victorian gentleman Henry Asquith was prime minister. There was no radio, no television, no telephones (for ordinary people at least,) no airplanes (Orville and Wilbur Wright having made the first powered flight only six years before.)

The car was something so rare that people would run out into the street to see it. That year Marconi was awarded the Nobel Prize for the new fangled invention of wireless telegraph, Louis Bleriot was the first man to fly the 22 miles across the English Channel and Robert Peary was the first to reach the North Pole.

Except for a brief period in her early life when she lived in Hastings, Flo is a lifelong resident of Chiswick and Acton. She was born in Glebe Road, and moved with her parents when she was a few months old to 42 Rothschild Road, where she lived until a young adult. As the older sister she found herself being a second mum to her younger brothers Jim and Bert. At age 16, she moved out, got herself a room on Park Road North and was self-supporting. Her first job, at 16, was as a waitress (called at that time a “nippy”) at Joe Lyons Tea Shop in Hammersmith.

In 1929 she met and married Percy Hebditch. The couple had two children Peter (1930) and Robert (1940.) Since then Flo has gained 4 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.

Flo has always been an independent spirit, intelligent and able to make hard decisions, tough when necessary, kind hearted, honest to a fault and a loving and caring parent.

She has been a renter from Notting Hill Trust since the 1970’s and has always spoken very highly of the organization and its caring attitude. Flo has lived at Darton court since 1992 and never tires of saying how happy she is living there and how kind and thoughtful those who attend to her are, most notably the Warden Hamida Craig.

A celebration attended by many residents was held on June 8th at which the Royal telegram was read and son Robert paid tribute to Flo.

Flo sleeps for the majority of the day but still enjoys a sing-song and get together, and she has a wicked sense of humour with a lot of sarcasm thrown in, but everyone who knows her loves her to bits.

Robert Hebditch

Florence Hebditch

Article sent in by Marie Siddique and residents of Darton Court


July 17, 2009