Creswell: Surprise birthday to celebrate Phoebe’s rich life

Friends held a surprise birthday buffet for 95 year-old Phoebe Williams at Limestone House
Friends held a surprise birthday buffet for 95 year-old Phoebe Williams at Limestone House

A special party was held at Limestone House in Creswell to mark the 95th birthday of one of the village’s most remarkable residents

In her lifetime, Phoebe Williams has twice been invited to Buckingham Palace, twice been chairman of Bolsover District Council and made local political history.

Phoebe was born in Shirebrook and was one of nine children. She moved to Creswell when she married Stan Williams, a miner at Creswell Colliery.

While she was still in her early 20s, she asked to join the Creswell Labour Party and became the first woman to do so.

she later stood for election to the Parish Council and duly won her seat. From that, she was then elected to Bolsover Council and twice held the role of council chairman.

Phoebe was a member of the Women’s Voluntary Service during the war and started her community work when soldiers, returning to Creswell after the conflict, found that a lot of amenities were closed.

She obtained permission to use the Creswell Drill Hall for the soldiers and the community and she organised events and arranged the entertainment.

Phoebe herself became a Justice of the Peace in 1959 and she was also a member of Creswell Dramatic Society and has been a member of the Old Age Pensioners Club for 35 years.

On two occasions, she and Stan were invited to the famous Buckingham Palace Garden Party.

“She loves a brass band and due to her support for the Creswell Colliery Band, at aged 60 she was made their President for life,” said Julie Holling, chairman of Elmton & Creswell Village Company.

“Phoebe was also the Chairman of Creswell Christian Aid.”

“She likes to spend her time with her two daughters, four grandchildren, two great-grandsons and one great-great-granddaughter and she continues to attend the weekly Creswell Self-Help Group and visits Limestone House every Monday for the Reach out and Bring in Project and the Luncheon Club.”