Trip to France for 108-year-old birthday girl
Carrick on Suir woman Margaret (Peggy) Carter who celebrates her 108th birthday on Friday with a trip to France is pictured above with her grandson Tony Murphy and daughter Tono Murphy at her Cricklewood home.
A remarkable Carrick on Suir lady will take a trip to France this Friday to pick up some duty free to celebrate her 108th birthday.
Not that she will touch a drop herself, any goods secured will be strictly for friends and family.
Margaret (Peggy) Carter (nee O’Dwyer), was born on the 13th November 1901 in Ball Alley Carrick on Suir and has never touched a drop of alcohol, attributing her longevity to drinking plenty of milk .
After returning from her trip to France Peggy, who has lived in London since the 1920’s, will attend a celebration ceili in the Crown in Cricklewood on Sunday.
The 108 year old Carrick woman has lived in Cricklewood in London since she emigrated there in the early 1920’s and has returned to visit her family and large circle of friends every year up to four years ago.
There will be big celebrations in Cricklewood and Carrick on Suir this Friday as Margaret celebrates the big day.
“She is going to go to France to bring back duty free for her friends despite having had two hip replacements in recent years.She likes to go over there twice a year just to bring back the duty free,” said her daughter Tono this week.
“She won’t take a drop herself, she never did. She never drank or smoked. She believes that drinking plenty of milk kept her alive,” said her daughter.
Tono said that, although her mother lived in London most of her life her heart was always in Carrick and her mother loved telling her children and grandchildren all about the town and its people.
“Margaret is very proud of Carrick. She speaks about the town all of the time. Up to four years ago she would have travelled back to Carrick on a regular basis. She came home four years ago from Carrick giving out ‘I don’t see anybody I know’ and she has not returned since,” said Tono.
Margaret has always maintained strong links with Carrick. With the outbreak of the WW11 Margaret sent her three children Tono, Malachy and Joe (now deceased) back to Carrick to be looked after by their grandparents David and Mary O’Dwyer.
“All children were moved out of London because of the war and we were sent over to our grandparents in Carrick. We got homesick after about a year and wanted to go back to London. Our mother came over for us and brought us back and at that time the air raids had really just begun.
We arrived back from Carrick into Paddington and an air raid siren went off. Margaret put the three of us into the big laundry baskets at Paddington Station to protect us and during the raid the whole glass ceiling caved in, but we were all safe,” said Tono.
Margaret was born in Ball Alley, Carrick in 1901 where the old Credit Union was. She emigrated in the early 1920’s and married a George Carter and they both worked in Guys Hospital in London. During WW11 she worked in a factory making rivets for fighter planes.
Since Margaret celebrated her 100th birthday she has received a letter in the post and a medal to mark her birthday every year since from President Mary McAleese.
“She has great memories of Carrick. She remembers going to Dooleys store to get the coal in a pram and bringing it back to her mother. She loved Carrick and the people of the town,” said cousin Margaret O Dwyer who will be one of many of Margarets friends and relatives in Carrick who will be thinking of her on Friday.
MEET Peggy Carter. This amazing lady was born in 1901 and is celebrating her 108th birthday this week making her the oldest Irish woman in Britain!
And although her hearing and eyesight might not be as good as they once were, the greatgrandmother feels on top of the world and looks like a woman decades younger.
Being head of four generations of Carters keeps the mum-of-three young at heart and fighting fit. Cooking is her favourite hobby and she serves up a great roast dinner every Sunday.
Peggy — who hails from Co. Tipperary — does most of the cooking by sense and she says if something’s burning then she knows it’s definitely ready.
For her birthday on November 13, the spritely pensioner will cross the Channel to Calais where she’ll spend the day browsing around the shops in search of some fine French cuisine.
And although she says she doesn’t like foreign food, she says she’ll try anything once.
She said: “The last time I went over I found this lovely butchers shop with a whole host of fresh meats. I spotted crubeens on the counter and ended up bringing a whole load home and cooked them for the dinner. They were delicious. And this year I’ll get some more along with a new frying pan. Imagine, I only found out lately that there are separate pans for electric and gas so I’m after one of them.”
Peggy — who came to London from her native Carrick-on-Suir back in 1920 — has been living happily in the same house in Cricklewood for the past 82 years.
She met her late husband George at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park and four days later he had asked for her hand in marriage. Sadly George died in 1958.
“He was a lovely, kind, gentle man… and he married a mad one like me,” Peggy said, laughing. The Irish woman spent 30 years as an engineer in the famous Handley Page Aircraft Factory where she played a major role in making the famous Halifax and Victor bombers. But she says working in the factory wasn’t always the safest place to be.
“Because we worked making bombers in the factory we were always getting bombed. The roof was blown off more times over the years, I don’t know how I’m still here,” she said. “I’ve survived the Spanish Flu and World War II so count myself very lucky. I’m sure they don’t want me upstairs because I’m an awful trouble-maker. ”
Politics is Peggy’s passion and she watches Parliament live on TV every day. A Conservative through and through, Peggy says she’s more than qualified to give the current leaders a run for their money.
“I’ve had my poor days and I’ve had my not so poor days,” she said. “And at the tender age of 108 I’ve seen more than most. But I know one thing for sure. If I were in power I’d certainly be doing things differently.”
When asked what the secret to her longevity is she simply replies: “Be good to yourself and have fun — plenty of it.”
109-year-old great grandmother from Cricklewood dies
A CRICKLEWOOD great-grandmother who was born during the Boer war and was the third longest-living Irish person ever (sic) has died aged 109.
Margaret Carter, known variously as Maggie and Peggy, lived in Cricklewood Lane for 84 years and was born in November 1901, just a few months after the death of Queen Victoria.
Born one of four children in County Tipperary in a home with no electricity or running water, she contracted Spanish flu aged 17 during the epidemic which wiped out 50 million people.
After being rushed to hospital doctors feared the worst and she was given the last rites, but pulled through, and two years later emigrated to London to find work.
During her time in service to a wealthy family near Hyde Park she met George Carter, and the couple married in 1927, moving to a rented flat in Cricklewood in one of the new houses built next to the railway station.
In front of the house was a farm and behind was open land, over which you could walk the six miles to Edgware.
The couple had three children who all attended St Agnes’ School, and she raised them while working 10-hour days in the newly opened Handley-Page aircraft factory, where she was a riveter from 1940.
During the Blitz the family regularly had to sleep in a cold, damp air raid shelter, but one night Margaret decided she wanted to sleep in her own bed, so went back to her house with her daughter.
On the same night a bomb aimed at the factory hit the street and brought the ceiling down in the bedroom.
Despite being covered in dust and debris she told her daughter they were staying where they were until the morning as they had just got the bed warm.
George lost a battle with cancer in 1958, but she continued to work, and during her 30 years at the factory she moved to the prototype department.
But two weeks before she was due to receive her long-service award the company went bankrupt and she lost her job and pension.
However, she soon landed herself a job at Great Ormond Street Hospital, but eventually hospital bosses discovered she was nearly 80 and asked her to retire.
In her retirement she enjoyed many pilgrimages to Lourdes, Rome and the Holy Land, as she was a strong Roman Catholic, as well as enjoying the company of her eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Despite hip operations and deteriorating eye sight she still liked to get out and about and exercised her democratic right in last May’s General Election by voting, telling the Times Series all MPs caught up in the expenses scandal should be drowned.
She passed away aged 109 and 91 days on February 12 at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead after contracting norovirus, and was laid to rest on Friday, February 25.