Muriel turned 101 on 12th March this year, having been born in 1916. She was so thrilled with the Fingerprint Tree she received from her family from The Lovely Keepsake Company last year, that she kindly agreed to be our first interviewee for our new series with people sharing their favourite keepsakes and memories. We will be speaking to many more amazing, interesting people about their lives in our new Blog Interview 'Memories & Moments'. Over to you Muriel!
What are your most treasured keepsakes?
Photographs of my family. I have five great grandchildren and I am surrounded by photographs of them. I love photographs.
I also love cards. We have kept all the cards I received for my 100th birthday. I got a lovely card with embroidered flowers for my 80th birthday that I love and still keep in a frame.
I also love fridge magnets and friends and family collect them for me from their holidays all over the world. I have a fridge door in my home that is so full we now have to put them on the freezer! They are from all over, including Norway and Denmark and I love them because I always think ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to spend time there?'
What is your most favourite special occasion?
My 100th birthday party! It was lovely! I saw so many people and people I hadn’t seen since my 90th birthday party. We had a lovely time and every placed a fingerprint on my fingerprint tree. It’s in a frame and I love to get it down see all their names and fingerprints on it. I got some really lovely cards.
What is your favourite photograph?
I have lots of favourite of the family but the most special is one of me as a baby on my Mother’s lap, with my brothers Lesley and Leonard at her side. It was sent to my Father who was in WW1 and was sadly killed in the last battle of the Somme on 13th November 1916. He saw the photograph but he never actually saw me. My mother had the photograph of us and one of him in his uniform up at home for many, many years. My Father actually said to my Mother: “After two boys we might be lucky and get a girl and if we do we should call her Muriel.” So it’s nice to think my Dad named me and to have that memory always.
What is a favourite item you wished you had been able to keep?
I wish I still had my Father’s war medals to show my grandchildren and great grandchildren but my Mother was burgled and we lost all his treasured belonging, including the uniform they sent back from France after he died and all his medals. It was a real shame.
I used to have a doll when I was a little girl and I wish I still had her somewhere. She had a pot head and I used to dress her in my baby dresses. I had a few dolls but she was my favourite. With two brothers always trying to play with them too, I had no chance of keeping hold of her and looking after her. I don’t know what happened to her but I can see her clearly when I think about her. In those days, nothing was really saved as keepsakes, you kept things in the family and passed them on to others to be used.
What advice would you give to anyone about making memories and treasuring keepsakes?
Spend lots of time with friends and family. Make time for those you love. I love parties and get togethers. I love having visits and a chat with people and recently I visited my great grand-daughter’s riding stables to see her with her horse Rio. The horse took a shine to me and was smelling my arm and nuzzling me. It was a lovely afternoon out and a lovely memory, so I think it is good to have special times with your special people. (shown here Muriel with her brothers)
Did you receive a card from the Queen when you turned 100?
Ooooh yes! It was lovely. Signed by the Queen herself. I had it up on the side for a long time but my daughter Diane has put it in a frame to protect it now but it’s still on display. It was lovely to get it through the post and it was nice to keep afterwards.