SHE was the woman with the infectious smile who had lived through it all – the sinking of the Titanic, two world wars and more floods than she would have cared to remember.
Now, tributes have been paid to 104-year-old Ena Brown, who died in her cherished Hambledon cottage, where she was born in January 1912.
Ena was full of vivid anecdotes of yesteryear, from playing hopscotch in traffic-free roads, to the time that British and Canadian troops camped in the fields around Hambledon in preparation for the D-Day landings in 1944.
Two years ago she was not fazed when the village was left underwater for almost three months – staying in her cottage throughout the mayhem.
‘It doesn’t worry me! Why should it?’ she told The News at the time.
Her father, Harry Lott, was the village blacksmith.
When she grew up, Ena went on to run the village hardware store, Lotts, next to the family cottage, which she said started off as a ‘little shed’.
The shop is now run by Martin Clark as a newsagents, convenience store and tea room, but Ena remained the landlady.
‘She had a smile for everybody,’ said Martin.
‘She didn’t have a bad bone in her body.
‘We would often chat, passing the time of day. She would love to look back at when she was younger.
‘She used to love talking about when the American troops were here and she would speak about it like it was yesterday.
‘She used to talk about her father and the price of horses. Her memory was so vivid.
‘For 104 years she’d lived in the cottage. It was unique.’
The only time Ena left her home was during the Second World War when she moved to the New Forest to make gas masks.
She quickly moved back to Hambledon, which she had described as a ‘lovely little village’.
Ena, a mother of two and lifelong horse lover, kept her joie de vivre into her more senior years and three years ago helped to unveil the new tennis court in Hambledon, alongside TV presenter Fred Dinenage.
Ena was a true local legend, say villagers.
Martin added: ‘The local folklore was that if you ever needed any hardware, go to Lotts because Ena would take her time to help you. Whatever it was, she would find it.’