Meet the ‘party queen’ centenarians as home marks silver milestone

Centenarians Pattie Knopp, left, and Marion Bubs Wilkinson celebrate the 20th birthday of Lloyd Cour

Centenarians Pattie Knopp, left, and Marion Bubs Wilkinson celebrate the 20th birthday of Lloyd Court, near Holt. Photo: Keiron Tovell - Credit: Archant

They may have two centuries between them, but they still know how to celebrate.

Centenarians Pattie Knopp and Marion ‘Bubs’ Wilkinson, who both turned 100 in the past year, were named ‘party queens’ for the 20th anniversary celebrations of Lloyd Court in High Kelling, near Holt. The complex has 40 self-contained flats with access to round-the-clock care, meaning older people can live independently.

Mrs Knopp, who moved there in December last year, said she was delighted to help mark the milestone at a place where she could keep her self-sufficient way of life.

She said: “I was brought up as a very independent person, but I like having company as well, so the combination of those things here is ideal for me.

“It’s the best of both worlds - you have got your independence if you need it, you can shut your front door – but you know the care is here if you need it.”

Mrs Wilkinson, who has lived there for more than four years, added: “My daughter said I should go into a nursing home, but my independence is very important to me. I had seen Lloyd Court before when I used to visit a friend who lived here, so when I got a place here I was looking forward to moving in.

“I regard every single member of staff as a friend and I love having the flat to myself.”

Most Read

Mrs Knopp moved to Norfolk in 1972 and lived in Hockering, where she and her husband ran a post office and stores for about a decade. They later lived in Weybourne.

Mrs Wilkinson was born in Kent, and earned her nickname - which is short for Bubbles - because as an infant she used to blow bubbles from the side of her mouth.

She served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, known as the Wrens, for two years during the Second World War.

Residents and staff at Lloyd Court joined Mrs Knopp and Mrs Wilkinson for a socially-distanced party to mark the milestone, with tea, cakes and entertainment.

The complex is operated by Norse Care in partnership with Broadland Housing Association.

Michael Newey, the association’s chief executive, said celebrating the anniversary was important given the current restrictions.

He said: “In conjunction with Norse Care, we took the decision to go into lockdown early at Lloyd Court, and the staff have worked so hard to keep residents safe.

“It was difficult for residents not to be able to receive visits from their families, but all the staff have made a huge effort to keep everyone’s spirits up, which we really appreciate.”