THIS EARLEY resident has been in high spirits recently, following her 103rd birthday and the heart-warming celebration her friends gave her.

Madge Stables BEM, a resident of Embrook Court, Earley, turned 103 years old last week on May 6.

Despite the nation's lockdown procedures, locals to the retirement home came out from their balconies to sing happy birthday to madge, who was also met with a home-made birthday cake and a glass so she could raise a toast with her friends. 

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Tina Panting, a carer at Emmbrook Court Sheltered Housing, described Madge's impressive life story: "Madge was born in Halesowen, near Birmingham.

"She went to Birmingham University, where she studied English and Classics, qualified as a teacher, and met her future husband Len Stables.

"She moved to Reading in 1940, after marrying Len who was a teacher at Leighton Park School from 1940 to 1975.

"After raising three children, Madge joined the teaching staff at Reading Technical College, where she subsequently became a senior lecturer and also trained as a counsellor.

"She did counselling work for Marriage Guidance and was also a bereavement counsellor for Cruse.

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"In her retirement she travelled widely, worked for the Alzheimers Society, and helped found a branch of Cruse in Reading.

"She was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for this charitable work."

Madge moved to Emmbrook Court when she was 80 years old, and continues to lead a long and happy life there.

She added: "It was a really lovely morning and this was a very special event at Emmbrook Court, we would usually have had a party but couldn’t but this way everybody could join in whilst social distancing in in a safe way whilst being able to wish Madge a Happy Birthday. 

"Madge has been a part of Emmbrook Court for 23 years and everyone is very proud of her.

"She’s one amazing lady."