Burgh Castle word wizard, 102

AT 102, the phrase “a night on the tiles” is likely to have more to do with Scrabble than dancing the night away for word wizard Marjorie Elvin.

Active in mind and body, she is said to look at least 30 years younger by everyone around her – a reward, according to her care manager, for her positive, cheery outlook.

Mrs Elvin is the oldest resident at Burgh House Residential Home in Burgh Castle – but also one of the brightest and most “switched-on”, known for her agile mind and ability to solve puzzles and crosswords.

Formerly of Reedham, Haddiscoe and Great Yarmouth, Mrs Elvin stands at the top of a pyramid of people from her three sons, eight grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren, her son Derek, 68, also of Burgh Castle, said this week.

Although her centenary had been marked with a marquee, and her 80th with a helicopter ride, Wednesday’s birthday party was a less lavish affair with a small gathering and some live music.

Marjorie is the only surviving child of five born to Mr and Mrs Fred Scrivens, of Reedham on January 26, 1909 at Ledbury, Herefordshire.

At a young age she and her family moved to London but then at 11 she moved to Reedham. It was there she finished her schooling at the age of 14, caring for her aunt until her marriage to Bob in 1935 at the parish church. After the death of her husband in 1985 that she moved from the village firstly to Haddiscoe and later to Great Yarmouth.

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She went to live at Burgh House in 2007.

Marjorie loved fishing and gardening when younger and made good use of her produce by jam making and pickling as well as home baking.

Happy in her own company doing word work-outs and posers, care home staff had put a “Quiet, Genius at Work” sign on her door, Derek said, in honour of her puzzling pastime.

Care manager Joseph Greiner, said: “She is a little hard of hearing and needs glasses, but she does very well. She has a really positive outlook and I think that goes a long way.”