Day to remember for former Rattlesden and Stowmarket school teacher as she celebrates her centenary

Dorothy Drinkwater is celebrating her 100th Birthday. Dorothy pictured here with her daughters, left

Dorothy Drinkwater is celebrating her 100th Birthday. Dorothy pictured here with her daughters, left to right, Antonia Brotchie, Dorothy Drinkwater and Francesca Hall-Drinkwater. Picture: GREGG BROWN

It was a day to remember for centenarian Dorothy Drinkwater.

Dorothy Drinkwater is celebrating her 100th Birthday. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Dorothy Drinkwater is celebrating her 100th Birthday. Picture: GREGG BROWN

She celebrated her birthday surrounded by two of her three daughters and her son at her home in Poy Street, Rattlesden, before having tea at the Mill Hotel, in Sudbury, as well as getting a card from The Queen.

A teacher in the village and Stowmarket during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, she was a familiar face driving round in her red sports car up until the age of 96.

But now she takes things a lot less energetically and loves her daughter Antonia Brotchie, who lives with her, reading to her on a regular basis and keeping up with current affairs.

She taught many children at Rattlesden Primary School and then went on to teach at Chilton Primary School, in Stowmarket, where she specialised in French, said Antonia.

Dorothy Drinkwater is celebrating her 100th Birthday. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Dorothy Drinkwater is celebrating her 100th Birthday. Picture: GREGG BROWN


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Dorothy was in the Women’s Royal Air Force during the Second World War. She was stationed in Scotland where she met her husband John who also went on to teach when he left the RAF and then became a probation officer.

He sadly died at the age of 73 back in 1995 and it was 18 months ago that Antonia moved in to live and care for her mother.

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Her other daughter Francesca Hall-Drinkwater came from her home in Fulmer, in Buckinghamshire to help her celebrate her 100th birthday along with her son John, who has a home in London and Truro, in Cornwall.

Her other daughter Diana Firippis, who lives in Tunbridge Wells, in Kent, was unable to attend while her third daughter Amanda Drinkwater died in 2004.

“She is so well known in the village and has lived in the same house for more than 70 years,” said Antonia. “She was even driving her sports car up until about three/four years ago.

“She had a wonderful day to mark her birthday and it was brilliant. My brother was here and so was my sister and we all had breakfast together and she received a card from The Queen and from the Secretary of State for Works and Pension (David Gauke).

“Francesca took her out for tea and more people dropped in to see her. It was a very special day for her.”

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