I was born in 1937. We are what is commonly known as “The Silent Generation.” Born between two world wars and during a depression that lasted for a decade. It was a very different world to the one that we live in today. I was born in St Leonards near Hastings and grew up in the Bexhill area.
Hastings took quite a beating during the war. On the 11th of September 1940 the voluntary evacuation saw the population halve overnight. People often think that the bombing only affected major towns and cities, but Hastings was visited by the Luftwaffe a total of 85 times between 1940 and 1945. Many buildings were lost or damaged including The Royal East Sussex and St Helen’s Hospitals.
I am often asked to pick my favourite memory and I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to say that I can’t think of one. I have many, in fact my whole life has been one long favourite memory and I appreciate how lucky I am to be able to say that. I have two wonderful daughters; a great family and I enjoy every day.
Delphine was asked if she had any wise words for the younger generations. This is what she told us:
Do you have any tips for longevity?
“Keep active and keep dancing. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring or time consuming. Find something that you enjoy doing and do it. Make time to see friends and family, these connections keep us young.”
What is the secret to happy marriage?
“I would say, love, trust and affection. The first two are obvious but often people forget the third. When your partner gives you a hug when they come in from work or holds your hand whilst watching TV it makes you feel warm inside. It is important to tell people that you love them but even more important to show them.”
What is happiness and what makes a happy life?
“Happiness is the feeling you get when you are in love, or around close friends and family, laughing and embracing. Fill your life with love and you will be happy. If you have love, you have happiness and hope.”
If you could meet anybody, who would it be?
“My mum loved to dance, and she passed that passion onto me. She taught me dance at a young age and it was wonderful to have a shared hobby. If I could meet anyone it would be a professional ballet dance. I would love to hear their stories.”
Do you have any advice for the young and was there anything that wish you’d known?
“If I was to go back to my youth I would remember to listen more, we are headstrong at that age and think that we know best, but we don’t. I would listen to all advice and soak it up like a sponge. As for the youth of today I would suggest that they embrace everything and don’t be afraid of trying new things, but I don’t suppose they’d listen.”
If you could go back in time to any period of your life, when would it be?
“I would love to go back to when the girls were young, and we would go on family holidays. I know that having young children can be tiring but don’t wish their lives away. You’ll never get those days back and there will come a time when you wish that you could.”
Do you have any advice for future generations?
“it’s so obvious but be kind to people. You can really make their day. Imagine how lovely it would be and how much progress we would make if we were all just a little kinder to each other.”
And finally, you have chosen to live in a residential home. This is a big step. What advice do you have for anyone thinking of making the move and what is your favourite thing about life at Canterbury House?
“It is a big decision to make, make sure that the home feels like home and that you can be comfortable there. Look at the positives, they outweigh the negatives quite considerably. I love the fact that I am so well looked after and that I can continue with my hobbies and learn new things.