Strong Queenie Parsons vows ‘I won’t let anything beat me' on 100th birthday

On her 100th birthday, Queenie Parsons vows: ‘I am tough and I won’t let anything beat me.’

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 11:24 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 11:34 am
Queenie Parsons. at her care home, Whitehaven Rest Home, Horndean. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Made of strong stuff, Queenie celebrated her centenary with champagne and cake in the garden of Whitehaven Care Home, Horndean, with friends and family.

‘I’ve had a very happy life,’ adds Queenie, smiling.

Born on May 26, 1921, in Bognor Regis Queenie grew up with her parents Alfred and Violet Turner. Despite saying she was lonely as an only child, Queenie has great memories of exploring the South Downs and enjoying the wildlife.

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Queenie Parsons with her husband Edwin.

She says: ‘Dad had a motorbike and we used to go up on the South Downs rabbiting and picking blackberries. I used to sit by a hole all day, listening to the pattering of the little feet of the rabbits.

‘I loved it up on the downs, it was beautiful.’

On leaving school, Queenie got her first job at her aunt’s guest house at Bognor Regis. Soon after, she met her future husband, Edwin Parsons.

Queenie explains: ‘We met in Chichester coming out of the cinema. I joined the WAAFs to be near to him but as an officer in the RAF he was posted away so we only saw each other when he was on leave.’

Queenie Parsons. with her family in Hordean on 26 May 2021. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Edwin was a flight engineer and won the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was shot down over Germany in February 1945 and had to walk back through Europe when Germany surrendered.

After the war, the couple moved from Middlesex to Portsmouth in 1962 to run the Rose in June pub at Milton Road. One highlight for Queenie was winning the Ind Coope Landlady Darts Cup two years running.

Edwin and Queenie were landlords there until 1973 when they retired to the Isle of Wight.

The Parsons had three children, Valerie, Anthony and Simon who regularly visit Queenie at Whitehaven when they can. She also has three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

As chief folder of folding clothes at the care home, Queenie is known for liking things to be clean and tidy.

Reflecting on the most important lesson she has learnt in life, Queenie adds: ‘Make lots of friends and get on with everybody.

‘Don’t let anything ruffle your lifestyle.’