A FORMER seamstress believed to have been Hounslow’s oldest woman has died just two months after celebrating her 110th birthday.
Rose Bicknell, of Hinton Road, Hounslow, who saw 26 prime ministers come and go during her lifetime, is understood to have passed away on Sunday, September 8.
She became one of just 12 recognised supercentenarians living in the UK when she reached her 110th birthday on July 13 this year.
A big reception had been planned for her at Hounslow’s Civic Centre to mark the milestone but she was sadly unable to attend after falling ill.
Hounslow mayor Sachin Gupta said: “Rose was a real character and a great inspiration to myself and all of my predecessors as mayor who met her. My thoughts are with her family at this sad time. As someone who has lived through world-defining events and who had seen many changes within the borough, Rose’s passing sees part of Hounslow’s past go with her.”
Mrs Bicknell was an indomitable figure, who still lived at home and made all her own clothes well into her 100s. She described the secret to her longevity as ‘keeping busy’.
She was born in Chelsea, when Queen Victoria was still on the throne, and remembered watching the Titanic set sail as a young girl.
Having left school at 14, she worked at Drayton Paperworks, in Fulham, where she met her late husband Frederick. They moved to Hounslow, where she lived in the same house near Hounslow Barracks for more than 80 years.
The great-grandmother attended Heston Day Care Centre, in Vicarage Farm Road, and joked when celebrating her birthday there one year how she was pleased to see the Queen wearing a new shade of lipstick in her latest telegram.
She was for a long time believed to have been the borough’s oldest resident, until earlier this year when the family of Sant Kaur Bajwa revealed she was not just the oldest person in Hounslow but also in the UK, at 115.
Mrs Bajwa, who was born in India and moved to England in the 1960s, passed away on July 19 this year, making Mrs Bicknell once again the borough’s oldest person.