Meet our resident Muriel
Muriel has been at Barty House for nearly a year. The 100-year-old, who was born on New Year’s Day 1920, is one of our oldest residents. During her long life, she’s lived through some momentous times – the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Swinging Sixties, the nuclear age and the invention of the internet, to name just a few.
Muriel grew up with her younger sister in Borough Green. Her father worked at the local railway station, but when he was promoted and transferred to London the family moved to Bromley. Around that time the 17-year-old Muriel met future husband Les at a St Patrick’s Night dance. She was wearing a glamorous mauve evening dress – to this day she associates the colour with happy times, and still enjoys shopping for mauve clothes!
“Mauve has been my favourite colour ever since I met Les, and I’ve worn it for all my anniversaries and reunions!” she explains.
The couple married in 1940 and had a son. Muriel became a medical secretary and Les worked as a treasurer for County Hall (Kent County Council’s Head Office), volunteering for active service in the RAF during the war. Afterwards, he returned to work at County Hall and was instrumental in establishing the NHS in Canterbury.
During their retirement the couple discovered a love of travel, initially spending three months cruising around the world on the SS Canberra before clocking up a total of 17 cruises together. Muriel’s favourite destination is the Caribbean because “everyone’s so friendly and welcoming”.
After 70 years of marriage Les sadly died in 2010, aged 94. Nowadays, Muriel is close to her grandchildren and has also become Barty House’s most award-winning bowler!