The 104-year-old who has lived in the same house in Street for more than a century
Watch Ben McGrail's report
A 104-year old woman who is celebrating her birthday today (March 21) is putting her terraced house on the market, more than a century after she moved in.
Nancy ‘Joan’ Gifford from Street in Somerset is selling the three-bedroom house that she has lived in for 102 years.
When the family bought the property in 1921 they paid just £200 for it, compared to today’s £169,950 price tag.
Declining health means widow Mrs Gifford is moving out to a nearby nursing home in Glastonbury after more than ten decades living in the same house.
When she moved in as a two-year-old with her parents, the kitchen, toilet and wash area was open to the elements, while a tin bath hung on the wall outside.
That area has since been covered over and a new kitchen installed alongside an extension for the family bathroom, but much of the property remains the same, except for a lick of paint in the early 2000s.
Growing up in Street, Mrs Gifford went to the Convent School in Glastonbury where she was taught by nuns, and met her future husband, Bert, in the mid-1930s while walking with her friends between Street and Glastonbury.
Bert was among a group of friends on Wearyall Hill, who had whistled at Nancy and her friends passing by to attract her attention – an encounter that later blossomed into a marriage.
During their time at the end-terrace family home - a stone’s throw from the village college and theatre - Nancy and her late husband married at the start of World War II in 1939 before Bert was sent to Scarborough to train as a radio operator in preparation for the Battle of Anzio in Italy.
But he was never far from his family, as Nancy would spend most weekends taking the long journey from the now closed Glastonbury Train Station to the north east coast to visit her husband.
During the war years the family took in Sylvia, an evacuee from London, who grew up with Nancy and to this day they still remain in contact.
The couple later had two children, their daughter Mary (born in 1949) and her brother John (born in 1943), who is now 79-years-old and still lives in Street.
After returning from the war, Bert spent 42 years working at the Clark’s Factory in Street as a heel pairer, while Nancy was a stitcher for the world famous shoe maker. After having their two children, she took on part time work in a nearby pub and cake shop, before later working in the closing room at the Morland’s Sheepskin Factory in Glastonbury.
She was also a member of the Glastonbury Cycling Club and women’s group at the nearby Baptist Church.
Remembering his childhood at the house, Mrs Gifford’s son John said: “When I was a youngster, there were so many lovely families that lived along the road, and we all knew each other.
"The times we had as children were fantastic; going across the fields, jumping over ditches, bird nesting, and swimming in the rivers, so many things children don’t do these days.
“Back in the day most children our age knew everybody, and we all had an open house, and it was fine to leave your door on the latch. We were all poor, but everyone was happy.”
Mrs Gifford’s home, which was built in 1882 and originally featured a communal well for the entire road, is on the market with Somerset estate agent Holland and Odam.
The branch's manager, Jack Bartram, said: “Buying and selling houses is the day job for us, but every so often you stumble across a wonderful story, and Mrs Gifford’s is one of those.
“There aren’t many who live to the great age of 104, let alone have lived in the same house for 102 years.
"That house must hold so many lovely memories for Mrs Gifford and her family, but now, after more than a century, it’s time for another family to make some memories.”