It’s not often that people get to celebrate their 100th birthday - but living at one care home in Cwmbran are no fewer than five residents who have celebrated the landmark.

Vera Webber, Edith Tucker, May Ogden, Gwendoline Phillips and Annie ‘Nancy’ Davies all live at Cwmbran House.

Between them, the five women are 504 years old.

The National's sister site, The Argus, went to find out more about these five centenarians and their lives.

Vera Webber | 102

Vera Webber was born in Garndiffaith in 1919.

Her father worked in the colliery, but then opened a butchers. Mrs Webber said she worked in the family shop.

She married Ken Webber, who she met at Garndiffaith Church, and the couple had two children – John and Catherine – and two grandchildren – Joanne and Phillip.  

Mrs Webber, who is a great-grandmother, took over the butchers with her husband, and now it is run by John.

“My recipe for a long life is hard work in the butchers,” she said.

Edith Tucker | 101

Edith Tucker grew up in Pontnewynydd as one of 11 children.

“I had a big family, but we never quarrelled,” she said.

“We had orders we had to stay around our house when we were playing outdoors. We would play skipping and running, and went swimming.”

Edith worked at Weston's Biscuit factory from the age of 14.

“I worked up until I was gone 65. I worked in Weston's Biscuit factory, and Girlings, and in the council offices.

She married James Tucker – a Garndiffaith local – when she was 22.

“We used to go into town dancing, and we would go to the band hall on the Varteg.”

The couple had two children – David and Robina – and have three grandchildren.

May Ogden | 101

May Ogden was born and raised in London, only moving to Cwmbran when she was 48 after her husband got a job in the town.

“I left school when I was 14. I started in an office but I didn’t care for that,” May said.

Mrs Ogden then worked as a telephonist – or switchboard operator.

“I was one of the original telephone girls. I would connect people to their calls.

“When the war came, a few of us were picked to go to special boards to do it during the war. I was very lucky to be one of those.”

She worked on the phones until she married John Ogden on June 19, 1942 – aged 23.

Mr Ogden worked for Alfa Laval, and when they opened a factory in Cwmbran, he was asked to work there.

The couple had two girls – Susan and Trisha – six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

“I was fortunate, I had a happy marriage and he was a very good husband and a good father.”

Annie ‘Nancy’ Davies | 100

Annie Davies, who is known as Nancy, grew up in Pontypool.

She was 22 when she married George Davies at St Cadoc’s Church – who originally came from the Isle of Wight but lived in Talywain.  

They had three children – Enid, David and Robert. They also have a granddaughter and three grandsons.

Mrs Davies worked at Lucas’ in Cwmbran for about four years but left after Enid was born.

As their children grew up, Mrs Davies returned to work – mostly cleaning, including at The Commercial pub.

She was also a dab hand at skittles.

“I would go to The Commercial with my husband. We would play bingo and play skittles, and I was the captain of the team.”

Gwendoline Phillips | 100

Gwendoline Phillips was born in Pontypool and worked in the munitions factory in Glascoed.

Mrs Phillips said she liked to go out dancing at The Queens in Pontypool. She was also a committed church-goer, and still takes communion at Cwmbran House.

She married Ken Phillips in Griffithstown, and the couple had a daughter – Winifred – who now lives in America.

“Me and Ken would go on holiday to the States to see our Winifred,” she said.

Mrs Phillips’ sister Pat still lives locally, and always brings her dog when she comes to visit.

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