Great great Morden grandmother recalls Sutton's countryside at 100th birthday party

Sutton Guardian: Birthday girl Edith Labisko enjoys her big day surrounded by her family Birthday girl Edith Labisko enjoys her big day surrounded by her family

Edith Labisko was Queen for a day last week when she celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends. 

The birthday girl sported a sparkly tiara and sipped champagne after her home had been transformed into a palace for the majestic milestone by granddaughter Amanda Atvars.

Born in Walmer, Kent on January 16, 1914, Edith, whose maiden name was Crewe, moved to Streatham two years later with her mother, also named Edith. She still vividly recalls being scared by the German zeppelins flying overhead during the First World War.

Sadly, her father Thomas Crewe, a member of the Plymouth Battalion of the Royal Marines, was killed during the Gallipoli campaign aged just 25 in May 1915. 

When Edith was 12, her mother was advised to move from Streatham to gain some 'country air' for health reasons and the pair settled in Warwick Road, Sutton where she attended nearby Newtown School. 

She said: “In those days Sutton had a country village feel to it, with its quaint cottages and surrounding countryside.

“We used to walk up to Belmont Downs to play bat and ball games with family and friends. It was lovely.

"We never thought twice about walking to Morden and I used to love the poppies and cornfields at Rose Hill.

“I can remember seeing sheep being herded down the High Street near the Grapes pub. 

“Sutton was the kind of place where everyone knew each other and said ‘good morning.’” 

For many years Edith, who now lives in Morden, worked in catering with her mother, waitressing at venues such as Banstead Golf Club and the Greyhound pub in Carshalton during what she describes as “simpler, but happier times.”

She has been married twice, so far, and has outlived both her husbands. 

In 1934, she married milkman Herbert Hedges of Herbert Street, Hoxton and two years later the couple had a daughter, Doreen. 

With the outbreak of the Second World War, Edith and Doreen were evacuated to York but the pair missed London too much and soon returned.

Once Doreen had daughters of her own, Edith and Bert moved to Mile Oak near Brighton for a couple of years to run a convenience store before returning to Sutton to open a shop in Stonecot Hill.

After Bert’s untimely death in 1964, aged just 56, Edith married Stanley Labisko in 1970 and the couple lived together in Morden for 30 years.

She likes to keep her brain active by enjoying a good chat and those who know her well cite this as a main reason she has lived to such a great age. 

Edith has five grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and six great, great grandchildren, some of who were in attendance on her big day. 

The highlight of the memorable occasion was a birthday card from her Majesty the Queen herself which took pride of place on Edith’s mantelpiece.

Comments (1)

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6:31pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Binsanity says...

What a wonderful story. With crime, politics, etc... constantly in the news, it's so nice to be taken back to a time of memories and experiences with a lovely lady. Can't wait for her 101st for the next installment. Good luck Edith. Well reported Guardian.
What a wonderful story. With crime, politics, etc... constantly in the news, it's so nice to be taken back to a time of memories and experiences with a lovely lady. Can't wait for her 101st for the next installment. Good luck Edith. Well reported Guardian. Binsanity

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