Emsworth ukulele player Edna Blott celebrates 100th birthday at Brookfield Hotel

Made of strong stuff, ukulele lover Edna Blott says ‘it doesn’t feel true’ on reaching her 100th birthday.

By Hollie Busby
Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 10:55 am

Still in good health and optimistic as ever, Edna celebrated her centenary at the Brookfield Hotel, Emsworth, with about 20 of her family and friends.

‘It’s unbelievable. I’m quite excited about it,’ adds Edna, a resident at The Oaks care home in Emsworth.

Born on July 24, 1922, in Southend, Edna grew up with her parents Florence and William Barnet. Despite being an only child, Edna recalls happy memories living by the sea where she’d often go swimming and paddling with her father.

Edna Blott celebrated her 100th Birthday with all her family on Saturday afternoon at the Brookfield Hotel in Havant. Pictured - Edna Blott with her family, Donna Wood, Samantha Wood, Jonathan Wood, Geoffrey Prichard, Ella Prichard, Hannah Prichard, Isabella Scott, 14, Cindy Scott, 11, Holly Wood, 2 and Mimi Prichard, 5 months. Photos By Alex Shute

As a little girl she enjoyed trips out to the Kursaal fairground, an icon of Southend seafront which has since closed.

She says: ‘I didn’t care about money. I had a good, happy life with mum and dad.

‘Living by the sea we used to have lots of fun. I didn't worry about much. My dad taught me to ride a bike and I'd ride it along the seafront.’

Edna Blott celebrated her 100th Birthday with all her family on Saturday afternoon at the Brookfield Hotel in Havant. Pictured - Edna Blott opening her 100th Birthday Card from The Queen. Photos By Alex Shute

Edna went to an art school in Southend aged 13 before getting her first job as a window dresser in Oxford Street, London, at John Lewis at 16.

But not long after starting, Edna was forced to leave as the war broke out.

‘My job was lovely,’ she explains. ‘It was lovely to know you were organising something very fashionable in the window.

‘But when the war broke out my dad wanted me to stay in Southend. We used to go in the air raid shelter in the back garden.

Edna Blott celebrated her 100th Birthday with all her family on Saturday afternoon at the Brookfield Hotel in Havant. Pictured - The family had prepared a display to celebrate Edna's 100 years. Photos By Alex Shute

‘We felt safe down there. We enjoyed it. We’d play our music.’

Soon after Edna turned 16 she met her sweetheart, Laurence. Despite growing up two roads away from her they only got to know one another after meeting in a park with a group of their friends in Southend.

‘We went to Canada on holiday after we got married and we stayed there for a year,’ says Edna.

‘He was dressed in his navy outfit because he was in the war. We had lots of people at our wedding because both families came from London and from Southend.’

Edna Blott celebrated her 100th Birthday with all her family on Saturday afternoon at the Brookfield Hotel in Havant. Pictured - Edna Blott with her daughter, Grand Children and their partners. Photos By Alex Shute

The Blotts had three children, Donna who visits Edna regularly and Garrick and Sarah who have both died.

Edna also has five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

During her working life, Edna was a typist and after having Donna the family moved to Portsmouth where Edna worked in the dockyard doing secretarial work.

Reflecting on the most important lesson she’s learnt in life, Edna adds: ‘Don’t do anything too outrageous. Have an enjoyable life – that’s very important.’

Edna Blott celebrated her 100th Birthday with all her family on Saturday afternoon at the Brookfield Hotel in Havant. Pictured - The family had prepared a display to celebrate Edna's 100 years. Photos By Alex Shute