Ship baby turns 101

A SIDMOUTH woman born on a ship has celebrated her 101st birthday.

Julia Wheel, of Malden House residential home, Sidford Road, marked the milestone surrounded by family and friends. There was a party with balloons and cake at the home, and son-in-law Peter Hicks and grandaughter Sue Munro took her out for lunch.

Julia, raised in Essex, was born in 1909 on a ship coming back from South America.

Peter said: “Her parents ran a theatrical touring company, and her mother was sent home to give birth, but she didn’t hang around and was born at sea.”

Julia and husband George moved to the South West 60 years ago and she ran a clothes shop in Sherborne, Dorset. She moved into Malden in February.

Deputy manager Vanessa Powling said: “She enjoys the company of her family, who visit every day, and can be a bit feisty when she wants, which is nice as it shows spirit.”