'I don't feel it!' – Street party to celebrate Julie's 100th birthday
- Credit: Joshua Thurston
A 100th birthday party was held in Golders Green on Sunday for a road’s oldest resident who neighbours say “embodies all that’s best in people”.
Julie Bush celebrated her century with a street party on September 12 in Corringham Road, where she has lived for 66 years.
The former Royal Free physiotherapist, who went to school in East Finchley, still goes for daily walks on Hampstead Heath, stops neighbours for a chat, and plays the cello.
So despite the impressive milestone, the keen bridge player told the Ham&High she still feels fit and firing for the future.
“I don’t feel anything like that age inside,” the centenarian said. “It doesn’t really mean anything to me to be that old. I still walk every day, live alone and look after myself.”
The street party was attended by dozens of neighbours and featured tea, cakes, table tennis and a bouncy castle.
The “fantastic” community spirit on the day was testament to the road’s togetherness, Julie said.
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"Friends and family get more important the older you get, so it was very special,” the mother-of-two said.
“Certainly in lockdown people were very helpful if you ran out of anything.
“I've always made my own bread but during lockdown the rest of the world started making bread so there was a shortage of flour – but friends brought me bags of flour to keep me going.”
Julie, who has six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, spent her career in healthcare.
After reading science at university, at the outbreak of World War Two she trained as a physiotherapist at King’s College Hospital, where the pensioner can recall listening to Winston Churchill’s speeches during the Blitz.
Once qualified, Julie went out to post-war Germany with the Red Cross to help with rehabilitation.
She went on to work in Holloway Prison, which led to her strong views on the iniquities of detention for women.
Julie later worked at St Mary’s Hospital and then the Royal Free, where she retired. Her late husband Geoffrey died in 1998.
Neighbour Helen Harris said: "Julie is somebody that we all look up to hoping that we'll be so lucky as to be that fit and well at an advanced age. She really embodies all that’s best in people.”
One of Julie’s grandchildren described their grandma's secret to long age: “Whisky, walking, bananas and fighting fascism, not necessarily in that order.”