Former Down school teacher turns 100

15/7/14- Former Bexhill teacher Margaret Nicholson celebrating her 100th birthday SUS-140715-172238001
15/7/14- Former Bexhill teacher Margaret Nicholson celebrating her 100th birthday SUS-140715-172238001

A former Bexhill teacher celebrated her 100th birthday with over 30 family and friends earlier this week.

Margaret Nicholson, known as Martha to some, was born on July 15, 1914, in Leek Staffordshire.

Later, after completing teacher training, she returned to teach in the town where she met husband to be, Ramsay Nicolson, who was teaching at the same school. Daughter Jean was born and in 1944 Ramsay became Head of the Down Secondary School and the family moved to Bexhill.

Margaret taught at the Down junior school, now King Offa. A few years later Margaret became Head of Ashburnham and when this school was amalgamated with Dallington took the reigns as Head teacher which is where she stayed until her retirement.

Daughter Jean said: “As coincidence will have it Dallington is also 100 this year and mum was able to attend the Open Day where she enjoyed meeting former pupils and colleagues.”

Margaret was very active in Ashburnham village life and a staunch supporter of the WI where she served as President. She was also Clerk of the Parish council and a keen helper at historical events at Ashburnham Place.

Jean describes her mum as “a remarkable woman” who loved travelling and visited many exotic locations around the globe and said she has been an avid reader all her life. “She has a passion for poetry which she still loves to quote especially from poems by Rupert Brooke.

“Sport didn’t pass her by either. She was a regular tennis player at Egerton Park and a member of Little Common and Catsfield tennis clubs. Mum was a member of Highwoods for many years where she enjoyed playing golf and bridge. She also became a keen indoor and outdoor bowler.”

Bexhill Town Mayor Brian Kentfield and wife, Mayoress Susan, joined the happy gathering of friends and family - including Grandson Andrew and family who came over from Norway - at Ash Lodge to celebrate Margaret’s centenary.

Jean said the party went with a swing and Margaret received over 50 birthday cards. Margaret said: “I didn’t know I had so many friends! I can’t believe I am 100!”

Margaret puts her longevity down to “excellent care at Ash Lodge and a tot of whisky before going to bed.”