100 second interview! This week: Betty Shapiro

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100 second interview! This week: Betty Shapiro

We speak to a great-mother of eight about her life as a seamstress, her role in the war-effort and the secret to longevity!

Betty Shapiro celebrates her centenary
Betty Shapiro celebrates her centenary

In our latest 100-second interview, celebrating our community’s centenarians, we speak to Jewish Care service user Betty Shapiro…

Name: Betty Shapiro

Date of birth: 6 February 1920

Where do you live now? Where did you live before?

I live at Jewish Care’s Clore Manor home. I was born in central London before moving to Brixton, Manor House and then Stanmore.

Betty and Harry after the second world war

What was your occupation before retirement?

I was a seamstress. During the War, my husband Harry went off to serve in the army and I began working at the government stationary department sorting maps as part of the war effort. All the work was of course top secret due to the nature of the job.

The work was carried out in an underground bunker near to the Tower of London, not far from where I was born. Eventually, working underground took its toll on my health and the doctor advised I should stop working there so I returned to being a seamstress and making dresses.

Betty and Harry

How many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren do you have?

Harry and I married on 8 December 1940 at the start of the blitz and had our two children, Pauline Sholem and Brian Shapiro. I’m great grandma to eight wonderful great-grandchildren and four wonderful grandchildren.

If you could offer a piece of advice to everyone today, what would it be?

Be kind to people and they’ll be kind to you.

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