Olive Wood began her second century at the Pavilion Care Home on St John’s Road on Thursday September 22nd after living under four kings, one queen and 21 prime ministers.
Though she had no immediate descendants, she was a doting aunt and loved many friends’ children as if they were her own — and that extended family shared the opportunity with her, including Carol Clemmet, her best friend’s daughter who knew “Auntie Olive.” ‘ all her life.
Carol said: “She was thrilled with the celebrations organized by the care home staff and her family.”
Born on a Friday to Frank and Marion Brunt, Olive spent her childhood on St James’s Street with sister Marjorie before the family moved to West Road.
Frank had grown up in his family’s painting and decorating shop at 42 High Street – now Scrivener’s Bookshop – a company that had once been commissioned to paint the Spa Hotel.
Her grandparents also ran fashion shops at 8-10 High Street and 47 High Street and counted the Duchess of Devonshire among their occasional customers.
Carol said: “Olive’s great-grandfather Robert Brunt was a renowned Buxtonian known for decorating the fountains for many years. He also made beautiful carved furniture which is still in the family.”
After completing her education at Hardwick Square School and Cavendish Grammar School, Olive worked in Buxton’s library. During the war years she was drafted as a clerk in the civil service offices at the Palace Hotel, then at the Balmoral on Marlborough Road.
During the famous winter of 1947, Olive’s colleague Linda was stranded in Buxton, so the family invited her to move in until the snow cleared a full month later.
After the hardships of war, Olive and Linda embarked on an adventure on the Isle of Man in search of bananas. Olive said it was “like finding gold”.
Olive devoted herself to caring for her father for many years. Then, in her mid-50s, she married Edward “Ted” Wood, a police officer who helped her mother cross busy West Road. They lived happily for many years on Dovedale Crescent, where their neighbors became good and lasting friends.