Tributes have been paid to Britain’s oldest person after it was announced on Wednesday she had died at the age of 111.
Hilda Clulow passed away peacefully on Christmas Eve with her family and friends by her side at her care home in Redditch, Worcestershire.
She was born on March 15, 1908, just seven years after the death of Queen Victoria. That year London first hosted the Olympic Games, the Boy Scouts movement was founded and a loaf of bread cost just 1p.
Mrs Clulow lived through 27 prime ministers and five monarchs and survived both world wars, and last March celebrated her 111th birthday with a 1940s-themed party.
The Bowood Court and Mews Care Home resident became the oldest person in the UK after the death of 112-year-old Gwen Payne in June.
Mrs Clulow spent more than 50 years of her life retired after working as a dress maker at a factory in Balsall Heath, Birmingham.
Jackie Hayden, care assistant at the home, said: "Hilda changed everyone’s life within the home.
"I don’t feel that she truly knew how much she was loved, although we made sure we told her every day.
“After she lost her speech Hilda would play us up by pulling faces at her dinners, I used to say ‘do you not like it?’ and again she would pull a face – she never pulled faces at the puddings, mind.
“I used to ask her if I was her favourite carer and she would smile and nod.
"Then I would hear another carer ask her the same and she would respond in the same way.
"I’d would walk in and say that I thought it was me, she would just wink and grin at me. She was always making us smile.
“We all loved her and were very proud of her.
"I feel privileged to have known Hilda and had the opportunity to have cared for her. She will never be forgotten.”
Dawn Leaver, Bowood Court and Mews manager, added: “We have loved being part of Hilda’s long life.
"I will never forget the honour of creating some wonderful birthday celebrations for her and I’ll remember her with a glass of sherry – her favourite tipple."
Mrs Clulow, who was born Hilda Heath, was one of six siblings who began work at 16 and retired at the age of 60.
Hilda married her love Arthur at age 29 in 1937, and together they had one son, Barry, and seven grand and great-grandchildren.
She spent four years at the care home and her room was decorated with pieces of Cornish artwork because of her love for Cornwall as a youngster.
Speaking on her previous birthday, Mrs Clulow said: "When you get to my age, it’s just a number, isn’t it?
“I’ve had a lovely day and seen lots of old photos – my memory isn’t quite what it was, but I don’t do too bad!
“I’m not one for fuss, but it is nice from time to time."
The oldest person in the UK now is believed to be 111-year-old Bob Weighton, who was born in Hull on March 29, 1908.
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