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Eva marks remarkable 107th birthday with two parties at Edina Court in Wisbech

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Wisbech centenarian Eva Copeman has celebrated her 107th birthday with not one but two parties.

Eva, who lives in Edina Court, became one of the oldest if not the oldest person living in Cambridgeshire on Sunday (27), and marked the occasion with a family get together.

Then on Monday her fellow residents joined her for a celebratory coffee morning complete with cake and balloons as well as a visit from Wisbech mayor Andrew Lynn.

107 year old Eva Copeman with Mayor Andrew Lynn. (55158758)
107 year old Eva Copeman with Mayor Andrew Lynn. (55158758)

The First World War was raging, King George V was on the throne and the first building blocks of the NASA space centre were being laid, although it would be another 46 years before man went into space, when Eva entered the world on February 27 1915 in Wisbech.

While women today are still fighting for equality, when Eva was born most women across the world were still unable to vote.

Eva arrived into a world at war so most of the inventions of the year of her birth were war related and included a prototype tank tested by the British Army, hand grenades and the use of poison gas.

107 year old Eva Copeman. (55158748)
107 year old Eva Copeman. (55158748)

Eva's younger son Paul, who lives in Wisbech, said his mum has never really spoken about all the inventions she has seen in her long life, and so it is hard to say which had the biggest impact for her.

But she has always loved using the telephone to talk to her family, although she never had one of her own until she was in her late eighties. In fact Alexander Graham Bell made the first long distance call in 1915.

These days Eva enjoys using new technology to chat to her family some of who live as far away as Scotland and loves nothing more than a Facetime chat.

107 year old Eva Copeman. (55158745)
107 year old Eva Copeman. (55158745)

Facetime has been a life-line for Eva over the past two years when covid meant she, like many other older people were forced into isolation.

Paul said the pandemic has had an impact on her, most notably being isolated has affected her short term memory.

But at the same time she has developed a more adventurous palate when it comes to food.

107 year old Eva Copeman with Mayor Andrew Lynn and manager Shelley Vail. (55158753)
107 year old Eva Copeman with Mayor Andrew Lynn and manager Shelley Vail. (55158753)

Previously she has put her long life down to her diet of fish, chicken and vegetables – no fat or alcohol and very little sugar.

However, she has. since moving to Edina Court five years ago and relying on staff during covid for her meals, developed a taste for curries and regularly enjoys a spicy treat.

Eva was married to William Copeman and the couple had three children – Paul and his older siblings, David and Jenny. Before her marriage Eva worked at Burtons Basket factory in Oldfield Lane, until it burnt down just before the outbreak of the Second World War.

107 year old Eva Copeman. (55158746)
107 year old Eva Copeman. (55158746)

She gave up work when David was born and William, known as Bill, was posted to fight overseas in Burma - he was away for six long years before returning home to Wisbech to continue his work as a printer at local firm Balding and Mansell.

He died in 1963, leaving Eva to bring up their three children alone. She never remarried but she did return to work as a cleaner at the Isle College where she remained until she retired.

She lived most of her life in Elizabeth Terrace and was a dedicated member of the Trinity Methodist Church, where she would help out with events like the annual Rose Fair flower festival.

Eva is very family orientated and is once again enjoying visits from her six grandchildren and four great grandchildren and when they cannot visit she's Facetiming them.

Paul said: “It is amazing to think there were no computers when she was born, and that she only got her own phone when she was in her 80s, now she loves using the iPad to look at photos and call the children. She hasn’t quite got the hang of it though as she insists on shouting at the screen rather than talking normally and her hearing is also starting to fade a bit so she is finding it harder to hear them.”

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