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Lavinia Ballard celebrates 100th birthday surrounded by her seven beloved children




Centenarian Lavinia Ballard, who has lived in Bishop’s Stortford for the past 35 years, celebrated her 100th birthday with a party at the Havers Community Centre.

Bishop's Stortford. Lavinia Ballard has celebrated her 100th birthday. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (11539220)
Bishop's Stortford. Lavinia Ballard has celebrated her 100th birthday. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (11539220)

Marie Dillingham, one of Lavinia's seven children, attributes her mother’s long life to her good nature. “She didn’t drink, smoke or swear,” she said.

Instead of presents, Lavinia and her family asked for donations to charities the Be Yourself Group and Bishop’s Stortford CST.Today.

Lavinia, who has four daughters, three sons, nine grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, lives with her daughter Ida and son Philip in Shangani Road.

Lavinia Ballard, front centre, with her seven children and niece – back from left, Leslie Ballard, Ann Ballard, Kevin Ballard, Philip Ballard, Marie Dillingham and Rita Ballard; front from left, Ida Ballard and Cathy Dark (11527549)
Lavinia Ballard, front centre, with her seven children and niece – back from left, Leslie Ballard, Ann Ballard, Kevin Ballard, Philip Ballard, Marie Dillingham and Rita Ballard; front from left, Ida Ballard and Cathy Dark (11527549)

Born in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in 1919, Lavinia fell in love with Englishman Charles Ballard and moved across the Irish Sea. The couple were married when she was 25.

After Charles’ death in 1980, Lavinia told her children she did not expect to live much longer without him. Almost 39 years later, she received her 100th birthday card from the Queen.



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