Doris has been reading The News for 85 years - and today celebrates her 100th birthday

DEDICATED Dot Peckham has been reading The News for 85 years – and today we wish her a happy 100th birthday.

Monday, 7th December 2020, 7:00 am

Doris, who is known as Dot, who lives at Oaklands Care Home, in Stakes Hill Road, Waterlooville, may well be The News’ most loyal reader.

Her niece Julia Kirwan said: ‘We had hoped to have a big party for Dot for her special birthday, but sadly due to Covid restrictions, this will not be possible. We have therefore had to be creative in thinking of ways to help her celebrate.

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Dot Peckham

‘As Dot is an avid reader of The News, which was delivered regularly to her family home from 1935 up to 2017 and which she still has delivered to the care home every day even now, it would be a lovely treat for her to see a story about herself in the paper.’

Dot was born on December 7, 1920 near the Hilsea Barracks in Portsmouth. She was the fourth of six daughters and went to school in Cosham.

In 1927 the family moved to Soberton where Dot’s father and grandfather bought a smallholding. In the 30s they moved to Park Gate and Dot finished her education in Sarisbury Green.

On leaving school aged 14, Dot worked at Price’s School in Fareham.

Dot Peckham with her sister Billie

In time, she moved to Catherington Lane, Horndean, where she lived until 2017 before moving into the care home.

Dot has many stories from over the years – her 21st birthday was a particularly memorable day, as it was the day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour.

In December 1941 Dot joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service and her war years were spent at Catterick Camp in Yorkshire.

When the war ended Dot returned to Horndean and worked at the Civic Restaurant in Havant.

Dot Peckham

She gained her catering qualifications and became an employee of Hampshire County Council and worked at the primary school in Cowplain for many years.

In 1977 she was awarded a Jubilee Medal for her years in catering.

Dot never married and she selflessly nursed her parents through ill health for a number of years before they died.

In her younger years, Dot was a regular at Fratton Park, cheering on Pompey along with her younger sister Jo and Jo’s friend Mavis.

Life these days is a bit calmer.

Julia said: ‘Dot enjoys watching animal programmes and sport on TV, and reading The News every day.’

The News has launched its campaign called We Love The News to share some of the ways that our newspaper has touched the lives of our readers.

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