Bells to celebrate Lilian’s big day

THE bells rang out in Bassingbourn for a woman who was once dubbed the youngest British school-child . The occasion was to celebrate Lilian Lawrence s 100th ­birthday. And joining the ­celebration were her daughter and son-in-law, Frances and Geoff Jarm

THE bells rang out in Bassingbourn for a woman who was once dubbed "the youngest British school-child".

The occasion was to celebrate Lilian Lawrence's 100th ­birthday.

And joining the ­celebration were her daughter and son-in-law, Frances and Geoff Jarman.

She had a visit, too, from the Rev Dr Donald McFadyen, and Jack White, chairman of Bassingbourn Parish Council.


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And the church bells rang in a special three-hour peal in Lilian's ­honour.

Apart from a brief period in Letchworth, Lilian has lived in Bassingbourn all her life.

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Vic Nickson, village Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, said: "After her older brother Wilfred started school, Lilian regularly toddled down to stand and cry for him through the High Street School railings - so much so, that in order to console her, the head teacher eventually invited her in to sit in the class alongside Wilfred.

"And so she became the youngest British school-child of her time."

During her teenage years, Lilian cycled to Royston railway station each day to collect and then deliver newspapers to about 1,000 homes in the village.

Lilian, who moved to Park Close with her late husband George, became a member of the Bassingbourn WI, the Mothers Union, and remains today a fully paid-up member of the Bassingbourn Over-60s Club.

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