At the actual time of writing there are 24 people in Feltwell who have lived to be 80 years of age or more. To speak of them as old would not be in good taste; and yet there can be no denying the fact that they are decidedly grown up; one of them being well on the way for a hundred. This number of Octogenarians certainly is remarkable, and, what is most encouraging, there are quite a nice few in the parish following closely on their heels. There is a Folk-rhyme which asks the question - What are old people made of? It then goes on to say -
Bushes and thorns and old cows' horns,
Thats what old people are made of.
It is an interesting piece of anatomy, though whether accountable for long-life at Feltwell is more than I should dare to say. There is, however, an old saying full of excellent advice for possible Octogenarians-
Live while you live and live to grow old,
And so keep the doctor from getting your gold,
And the parson from putting you under the mould.
In any case these people much enjoy a chat of an evening; they love to talk over old times though rather apt, perhaps, to shake their heads over present day affairs. One wild January night the rain was pelting down as only rain knows how, for it was raining cats and dogs, and two old gentlemen sat within smoking by the fire. "Well," said one old gentleman, "Never see such a job in my life; every mortal thing agoing up; coal up half-crown a weight; sugar up; tea up; bread and bacca up; never see such a job in my life." "Why, no bor!" said the other old gentleman," There one thing you hain't named what ain't agoing up." "Well, and what's that?" "Why, the rain, bor, and that's acoming down proper."
These charming old people! Now what do you think?
They live upon nothing but victuals and drink.
Victuals and drink is the chief of their diet;
And when they're not talking, they always are quiet.
(from Nursery Rhymes)
The late Mr. Lambert Johnson, of Lodge Road, lived to be 97 years of age. When visiting there I would chop his sticks for him, fill his coal scuttle and carry it in. Noticing one day that the bed had not been made, for he slept downstairs, I offered to make it, but was immediately told-"No! No! I've got to sleep in it."
This next note added by Paul C. Garland, Oct 2001
Found in village magazine published 1985 but referring to 1925.
"The 13 burials during 1925 included two octogenarians, namely John Spencer (89) of Cock Street (now High Street) and Mrs Susan Walker of the Almshouses, (83) and two nonagenarians, Thomas Porter, retired farmer, of Oak Cottage (92) and Francis King Harwin, retired butcher, formerly of Lawn House but then of No. 2 Council Houses (now No. 27 Wilton Road).
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