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100th birthday celebrations for local resident

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MELKSHAM resident, Mary Maslen, who celebrated her 100th birthday this week, has shared her key to a happy life; be positive, be good, be kind, and help people.

Mary was born on 31st January 1923 in Scarborough and was from a seafaring family. She has been a Melksham resident for around 30 years and is known as Molly by friends and family, as a way of distinguishing her from her great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother, who were also named Mary.

Her grandfather had three boats and he named one of them ‘Molly’, after her.

Mary served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service in the Second World War and had a career in the NHS.

She explained, “I loved my job. I kept all the records for everything about children at risk, deaf children, I booked for chiropodists and was involved in immunisations.”

Sharing a story about her grandmother, Mary said, “I used to go and help my grandma bake on a Friday. Everybody called her Granny Bon because in French Bon means good.

“She used to go down to the harbour and wait for the lifeboat to come in, she’d go down with blankets and a drop of brandy for them. When she came home, she used to tell me ‘Be good, be kind and help people like I have done.”

Mary married her husband Viv Maslen, in the 1940s in Melksham parish church.

Reflecting on her wedding day, she said, “The vicar there married us for free and my husband, he used to pull my leg, he’d say ‘she cost me nothing!’”

Kelly Knight, a carer from Arrow Care, who visits Mary said, “She’s so inspirational. I visit her three times a day but she’s very independent and sorts out her own meals in the kitchen. Arrow Care has only been supporting her for the last two years. I feel she truly deserves to be celebrated.”

Mary, who was spending her birthday with family and friends, is hoping for a telegram from the King.

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