Chapel-en-le-Frith woman the life and soul of two parties as she celebrates her 100th birthday

A longtime Chapel resident marked her 100th birthday last week, and celebrated with two parties, five generations of her family and the lust for life which she says has kept her fit and healthy for a century.

By Ed Dingwall
Thursday, 21st July 2022, 12:19 pm

Rose Kilbeg-Wright reached the milestone on Saturday, July 16, and headed for the local golf club for afternoon tea with her daughter, Susan, two grandchildren, three great- granddaughters and nine-year-old great-great-grandson, plus a few close friends.

It was a moment to reflect on a remarkable life which has taken her all over the world from her early days in Manchester, including the last 40-odd years living around the High Peak.

Granddaughter Carol Callaghan, who lives in Hayfield, said: “Rose really enjoys company and for the last few years she’s not had an awful lot of it. Most of us are still local but it’s quite rare that we’re all together in one place.

Happy birthday, Rose Kilbeg-Wright.

“She’s still living independently and generally in good health. She says she’s healthier than most of the family, and puts it down to having a good time and enjoying life – including her butter and cream.”

Carol added: “We all brought her plants and hanging baskets to get the garden looking lovely for her birthday, and she was pleased to get her card from the Queen. She knows the postman well so he knocked on her door to give her a kiss in the morning.”

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The postman was not the only one who went out of their way to celebrate with Rose, as staff at the café Morrisons hosted a party in her honour last week when she came on her regular shopping trip with friends who use the same bus service from Community Transport Bakewell & Eyam.

Staff at Morrisons in Chapel laid on a surprise party for their special customer.

Carol said: “One of the ladies on the bus had asked Morrisons if they could provide a cake and some tea, and whoever was in charge said they would sort it all out for free.

“All the staff came out and sang and made a fuss of her, she was very surprised and a little overwhelmed

Rose was a pioneer of her generation, travelling the country as salesperson for counting machines at a time when few women were building similar careers. She ended up working for the University of Manchester, before retiring out of the city to be closer to her family.

She became well known to neighbours around Hayfield for her regular walks up Kinder Scout accompanied by two giant Alsatians.

After the death of her first husband when Rose was in her 60s,she decided to travel the world and eventually returned home with a new beau, whom she married at the age of 71 and lived happily with for the next 20 years.

Carol said: “She’s a very feisty character. It’s only in the last couple of months she’s had care workers coming in to make her breakfast, she’s always been adamant about her independence.

“She grew up in the kind of household where you always had to behave with and mind your manners – but she’s a great laugh too. We always have a good giggle.”

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