Brenda marks 100 years

Brenda Haddon
Brenda Haddon

A PENSIONER was presented with an engraved jug with Hastings’ coat of arms to mark her 100th birthday.

Deputy Mayor Bruce Dowling paid a visit to Brenda Haddon at Bannow Retirement Home in Quarry Hill, St Leonards last Thursday (September 13) as she marked her centenary year.

A party was held at the home and Brenda also received a card from the Queen.

She was born in Woburn Sands in Buckinghamshire, but moved to Hastings in 1923 when she was 11, as it was hoped the milder climate would help prolong her father’s life after his severe injuries in the Middle East in the First World War. It did and he lived until 1961.

Brenda began her career with a Hastings solicitor and found promotion at Gaby Hardwicke in Bexhill. When war broke out in 1939 she did four nights a week on duty at an emergency first aid post, which was set up in the underground car park at Carlisle Parade.

In 1941 she married her fiancé Henry Haddon who by then was a staff sergeant in the Royal Army Ordinance Corps (RAOC). He was sadly killed in 1945 so Brenda continued her career.

She undertook more responsibilities which involved travel to other solicitors in London and towns in the south east at a time when these tasks where carried out by male clerks.

She became founder member of the Hastings branch of the Business and Professional Women’s Club, before becoming regional treasurer, travelling around the world to international conferences.

Brenda was treasurer of Rye Sailing Club for many years, took a great interest in St Michael’s Hospice and is still president of the local branch of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS).

Her family hosted a luncheon at Bannatyne’s Spa Hotel on Saturday and a tea party for some of her many friends on Sunday.

Brenda takes a great interest in current events, enjoys Scrabble and is addicted to the Telegraph cryptic crossword puzzle.