100-second interview!

100-second interview!

Celebrating our community’s centenarians, we speak to Hilda Sharp, who has five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren

(Yakir Zur Photography)
(Yakir Zur Photography)

Name: Hilda Sharp

Date of birth: 04/03/1917

Place of birth: London

Where do you live? How long have you lived there? Where did you
live before?

I’ve lived in Stanmore since the 1980s and I go to Jewish Care’s Connect@Kenton every Monday, as well as its Edgware and Harrow Day Centre. I also lived in Kilburn and, before that in Hendon.

What was your job before retiring?

I trained to become a comptometrist when I was 16 and started work six months later at Smiths in Cricklewood on £1-10 shillings a week. During WWII air raids, I had to take my machine into the building basement so it wouldn’t be destroyed. After that, I became a housewife as pregnant women weren’t allowed to work during the war.

Were you married and, if so, for how long and to whom?

I was married to Cyril for 53 years. We met at a wedding that finished at 2am and he walked me home as there were no trams running. Before we married, Cyril would travel from his home in Lewisham to visit me in Hendon.

Hildan before her wedding

Do you have any children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren?

I am one of five children and have two children, Angela and Stephen. I have four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. The oldest is doing his GCSEs and the youngest is aged two.

What’s your happiest memory?

My wedding day. We married at Murray’s Club, in Beak Street, Mayfair, on 29 January 1939 and rented a flat in Lewisham.

What do you consider to be your greatest/proudest achievements?

My children. My family keeps me young, especially my great-grandchildren.

Who are your heroes of today or yesteryear?

Winston Churchill.

What keeps you young?

Time with my wonderful family.I play Bridge, do the Times crossword and play Scrabble.

If you were granted one wish to see something in your lifetime, what would it be?

To be 21 again.

If you could live your life again would you do anything differently?

Hilda celebrating her 100th birthday with a cake and a card from the Queen (Yakir Zur Photography)

No, I’ve had 100 years of fantastic, normal everyday life and I’m very grateful to still be here.

Do today’s young people have it easy compared to when you were growing up?


What one piece of advice would you give to today’s youngsters?

To respect everyone.

What national or international news story has had the greatest impact on you over the years?

The end of war in 1945.

The secret for a long life is…


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