Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The UK’s Oldest Person (c.NZ635225)

Charlotte Marion Hughes, née Milburn, was the oldest documented person ever to have lived in the UK.  When she died on 17th March 1993, she was 115 years 228 days old.  And she lived all but the last couple of years of her long life in Marske-by-the-Sea.

Charlotte was born on 1st August 1877 – the very same day upon which Alexander Graham Bell founded his first telephone company.  She was a schoolteacher all her working life, after which she married her husband, Noel, at the age of 63 (who himself lived to the age of 103).  She famously met Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1985, whom she rebuked for trying to cuddle up to her.  Charlotte was a Labour supporter!

On her 110th birthday she flew to New York aboard Concorde, and enjoyed a plush, all-expenses paid stay in America.  She claimed the national longevity record in 1992, by which time she had moved to St.David’s Nursing Home in nearby Redcar.  Though she resorted to a wheelchair in her latter years, she remained mentally sharp until the end.

She was the third person in world history to officially reach 115, though she has since slipped outside the top ten of all-time oldies worldwide and currently lies in 12th place.  

But she is still the British No.1.

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