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Former carnival queen turns 100

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Frome‘s Carnival queen for 1937, Mollie Bartlett, is celebrating her 100th birthday this month.

Mollie, who was known as Mollie King before marrying her husband Arthur Bartlett, will celebrate her milestone birthday on Tuesday 24th March.

“I’ve been waiting to turn 100 for a long time,” said Mollie. “I’m not sure how I’ve managed such a long life – but it could be something to do with the whisky! I have a glass most nights.”

About her time as carnival queen in 1937 at the age of 17, Mollie said, “It was a lovely day. I really enjoyed having all the photos taken, having my hair done, and being pampered!”

To mark the special occasion, Frome Carnival’s chair, June Barnes, current senior carnival ambassador Kathryn Strange, and carnival gran Carolyn Clements, paid Mollie a visit to wish her a happy birthday.

“It was lovely to see Mollie,” said June. “Hopefully our visit brought back some memories of the carnival for her. On behalf of everyone involved with the carnival, I would like to wish Mollie a very happy birthday!”

About Mollie’s life in Frome, her niece, Jenny Nicholls, told Frome Times, “Mollie worked in a shop in Frome before she married Arthur. Once married, she was very much the housewife, and supported my uncle who worked for the solicitors, Daniel & Cruttwell in Bath Street, which is now FDC Law. 

“My uncle also had pigeons, which Mollie helped him with – by the 1970s he had risen to the ranks of president of the National Flying Club, which was quite prestigious as they had 7,000 members. 

“Mollie and Arthur used to take the pigeons to France and Spain and release them there to fly back to Frome. Arthur set up several local flying clubs, including Frome – and Mollie would help him. If the pigeons had to go out, she’d drive the car because he couldn’t drive!

“She was forever helping him out and used to go all over the country to meetings. They were married for over 40 years before Arthur died in the early 2000s.

“Sewing and knitting, until recently was a hobby of Mollie’s. She was a prolific knitter for charity up until last year. And her sister-in-law, Joan Bartlett, ran a sewing club at Rowden House care home for about 20-odd years and Mollie used to help her with that.”

Picture: Former carnival queen Mollie Bartlett (seated) with current senior carnival ambassador Kathryn Strange, carnival chair June Barnes and carnival gran Carolyn Clements.

Photos of Mollie from 1937 courtesy of www.frome-pastcarnivals.co.uk.

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