100th birthday celebration for Washington dairy queen Elsie
The cream of Washington is 100 years young.
Elsie Proud was the eldest of four children, whose parents ran Glebe Farm, on the site of what is now The Galleires, and Elsie took over the family dairy business while still a young girl.
Margaret Kennedy, who is married to Elsie’s nephew David, said: “She used to get up at 4am to milk the cows every day, then she would go out in the pony and trap and deliver the milk in churns - they used to sell it by the ladle.
“She used to do it all on her own - milking the cows, then going out to deliver it. She must have been very young, in her early teens.”
Elsie went into partnership with her brother-in-law Ernest - David’s father - and the business literally stepped up a gear.
“She got a van,” said Margaret. “And they went over to glass bottles. She got bottles with her name on - E Proud, Glebe Farm.”
David eventually took the round over, but Elsie did not sit on her laurels in retirement.
“She went round the world,” said Margaret. “She went to India, China, and America.”
Elsie never married but she loved children and served as a Brown Owl in the Brownies, eventually rising to the rank of District Commissioner.
“She used to deal with all the Brown Owls in the area,” said Margaret.
“They would come to her and she loved going on pack holidays. She got my children roped in.”
Elsie work in the Washington community extended beyond the Brownies, she was also a leading light of the WI.
Elsie now lives in the Donwell House nursing home, in Washington, close to Margaret and David, where she celebrated her big day with a party for family and friends.
“She has got her card from the Queen right in front of her. She was sitting up in bed and said: ‘Every day, I can’t believe it’,” said Margaret.