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Faith at root of Marjorie's long life

PUBLISHED: 09:06 17 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:47 03 July 2010

TIME FOR REFLECTION: Centenarian Marjorie Dye

TIME FOR REFLECTION: Centenarian Marjorie Dye

SHE'S Great Yarmouth through and through, has been a staunch Christian all her life, and now Marjorie Dye has celebrated her

100th birthday.

Marjorie was the centre of attention on Wednesday at The Old Vicarage residential home at Hopton, where she was surrounded by family, friends, flowers and cards - one of them from the Queen.

SHE'S Great Yarmouth through and through, has been a staunch Christian all her life, and now Marjorie Dye has celebrated her

100th birthday.

Marjorie was the centre of attention on Wednesday at The Old Vicarage residential home at Hopton, where she was surrounded by family, friends, flowers and cards - one of them from the Queen.

She said she owes her long life to being a Christian and being teetotal.

Marjorie is Yarmouth born and bred and recalls events from many, many years ago almost instantly.

One of her earliest recollections is the outbreak of the first world war. She said: “I was only five, and for a time I lived with my grandparents, who owned a sweet shop in Gorleston.

“Mum and Dad owned a general store in Yarmouth, and, while I was between the addresses I attended Edward Worlledge School and then later went on to Great Yarmouth High School.”

Marjorie can remember when a bomb was dropped from a Zeppelin on Yarmouth in the 1915 air raid while she was staying with her grandparents.

“I was with my grandfather when we came into Yarmouth and saw the building that had been hit, and there was shattered glass everywhere,” she said.

After Marjorie left school, she went into the family's general store business and remained there for 11 years.

In the mid-1930s she dated a mechanic, Walter, whose place of work was nearby in St Peter's Street. They married at Gorleston Bethel Church in 1937.

Walter, who had by now become a fully-fledged car mechanic, was in a reserved occupation when the second world war broke out.

Their son Peter was born in 1940, with Marjorie being packed off to London for the birth in a nursing home.

She said: “They thought it was safer at that time and I stayed in south-east London. But as I was being driven back to Norfolk the Blackwall Tunnel was bombed and we were diverted on to the Woolwich ferry. There were no road signs up whatsoever - they had all been taken down in case the enemy landed.”

The couple had two more children: Margaret in 1943, and Mary, in 1951.

In the 1950s and 1960s they lived at various address in the Yarmouth and Gorleston areas. At one time they lived at Clarence House and York House in the Southtown area, and the couple played host to Scottish fishermen and their wives when they came to stay or work.

Marjorie was also a familiar face at Sennets, in Broad Row, Yarmouth, where she worked in preparing cooked meats.

Walter died 13 years ago, and she lost both her son Peter five years ago and her grandson last year to brain tumours, but she says her faith has seen her through the tragic times.

Marjorie counts her blessings for her family and has six grandchildren and six great grandchildren. She still attends church in summer when she can and believes there has been a decline in the country.

“It is very sad to see the way this country has gone. It is going downhill badly, and the trouble is too many people are putting God out of their lives. Too many people think they know it all.

“But I am still a Christian and I have had a good life,” she said.


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