Brampton, a great-grandmother who has lived in St Albans most of her
life was surrounded by friends and family to celebrate her 100th birthday
on Wednesday. She was treated to a three-tier birthday cake for
her centenary celebrations following mass at Ss Alban and Stephen Catholic
The mother-of-one, born on September 17, 1914, said she remembers sleeping
under the stairs for almost six years during the war at her family home in
Peggy said: “My father always used to say that if a
bomb has your name on it, it's going to get you no matter where you hide.
My parents were Irish. They both lived well into their 80s and 90s and my
only sister Doreen is 101.”
Peggy worked at Midland Bank's head office in Cheapside for 20 years in the
ledger department operating the Medgers comptometer machine – earning £60
She continued: “I used to catch the bank's 'charabanc'
coach each morning but we always seemed to go a different route through London
because of the roads destroyed by bombs during the night.
"After work I would go along to London Bridge to help at the shelter. I never
knew coming home at the end of each day if our house would still be standing.
All the panes of glass were shattered during the blitz. You couldn't look
out of the windows as the council fitted black-out panels instead of glass.
It really was terrible living through the blitz. I used to come to St Albans
for a rest and hear people getting annoyed when one or two planes flew over.
It was nothing compared to being bombarded night after night."
the outbreak of war Peggy regularly visited St Albans to see her boyfriend
Alban who she had met in Bournemouth.
She said: “Alban was an only child and born on the
feast of St Alban and lived with his parents at the Croft in Folly Lane.
His father was an engine driver during the First World War". Alban signed up to join the RAF the day war was declared
and served for six years.
They were married the week after he returned
from military service at St Alban and Stephen Catholic Church on Beaconsfield
Road when they were both 30.
Peggy told us "We lived with Alban's parents when
we were first married and then bought a three bedroom house in Cottonmill,
which was far too spacious for us with a huge garden.
"We grew all our vegetables and had every kind of fruit imaginable. I can
still remember going out and picking fresh brussel sprouts.”
Alban's health deteriorated after serving in the desert during the war and
he died aged 69.
Peggy and Alban have one son Harry, whose son Christopher lives in Hawaii
and whose daughter Trudi lives in St Albans.
Trudi has two sons and Christopher one, and another on the way.
Peggy has devoted much of her life to charitable work, volunteering for Oxfam
in Chequer Street for over 20 years and up until a recent fall prepared the
lunches and teas for the handicapped at St Mary's in Marshalswick for many