Sidford 100-year-old still sings in choir

PUBLISHED: 09:36 02 November 2011

Hilda Bilson celebrating her 100th birthday. Photo by Terry Ife ref shs 2318-42-11TI To Order a copy of this photo visit www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Hilda Bilson celebrating her 100th birthday. Photo by Terry Ife ref shs 2318-42-11TI To Order a copy of this photo visit www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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Tuneful tale of singing centenarian Hilda Billson

SINGING centenarian Hilda Billson could be one of the UK’s oldest choir members.

And the Sidford pensioner has no plans of giving up the hobby after celebrating her 100th birthday.

Malden Close resident Hilda is still independent, lives in her own home, and even gets on the bus to play bingo in Exeter twice a week.

She was joined by family, including a sister from the USA, when she enjoyed her special day last Thursday – marked with a telegram from the Queen.

“I’m still going strong,” said Hilda. “Turning 100 was just another day.”

Hilda received 56 cards, read each one and recalled who every single well-wisher was.

“I’ve been in a choir for as long as I can remember,” added the St Peter’s Church congregation member, who intends to keep singing.

Hilda ran a wool shop in Honiton for 42 years and a dance club in the town will stage a special celebration to mark her 100th birthday.

Hilda and late husband Horace started Honiton Square Dance Club in 1953. Now, Honiton Folk Dance Club has organised an event in her honour on Monday. She can’t wait to attend.

Among a ten-strong party that helped mark Hilda’s birthday was her younger sister Florence Dodd, 88, who travelled from Ohio in the USA.

Hilda’s son John, 78, said: “It’s amazing mum’s got the faculties she has. We all had a nice day, she didn’t want any fuss as always.”

Hilda gets help with housework and shopping from Pinewood Home Care three times a week.

Manager Sally Williams said: “She’s a remarkable and lovely lady and is still very independent and does lots for herself.”


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