ONE of the oldest women in the district has told of her amazingly long life as she celebrated a huge birthday milestone.

Winifred Wright, who was born in Goldhanger, and now lives in Heybridge, turned 104 years old last week.

Born in June 1918, Winifred was the daughter of Arthur and Alice Maud Appleton, and was brought up with three brothers in the small village in the Maldon district.

She attended the Goldhanger Church School and when speaking about her time in education, specifically remembers going to the Honeywood Centre at Great Totham in a pony and trap for cookery lessons.

Winifred left school at 14 years and went into service as a domestic servant.

One of her jobs was with the Youngs family of London brewery fame, at Woodlands, Woodham Walter, and Horace Freeman family solicitors in Maldon.

She was married on June 9, 1940, to Len, who was the son of a Maldon fisherman, with the service taking place at St Peter’s Church in Goldhanger.

Following the ceremony, Winifred spoke of the "entertainment" provided by “a Hurricane shooting down a German Heinkel which eventually crashed just north of Heybridge”.

She brought up two sons, the first being born in 1942, in war-time Britain where rationing was in place.

With husband Len away for the war, Winifred took to growing vegetables and keeping a few chickens to help make ends meet.

In her later years, she spoke of her enjoyment travelling the continent for holidays, and also being the treasurer for Goldhanger Women's Institute for many years.

Despite always being what she described as a “very independent person”, Winifred now requires the assistance of carers, neighbours, and friends due to her age.

For her birthday, she spent the day with her family at the Chequers pub in Goldhanger, with some relatives coming over from France.

On the day, Winifred said: “The most needed present for my birthday was a pair of new legs but these, unfortunately, were not forthcoming.”