SHE has experienced a century of change in Oxford. But a modest Margaret Rose, who turns 100 today, said she’ll treat it as “just another day”.

She will be in good company on her birthday with staff at the St Andrew’s care home in London Road, Headington, raising a glass for the centenarian.

Born in Jericho on April 18, 1914, to railway yard foreman Thomas Rose and housewife Bessie (nee Sanders), Miss Rose was one of four – brothers Leonard and Arthur and sister Mary, who have all passed away.

She was awarded a scholarship to study at the Oxford High School for Girls and then went to work as a secretary for bathroom store Cooper Callas in Oxford.

She said: “I worked for the same firm for 51 years. I managed anything to do with figures and did all sorts of jobs as the firm grew bigger and bigger. My sister also worked there for 52 years.”

Miss Rose lived with her sister Mary at their home in Stile Road, Headington, for more than 50 years.

But when Mary died in 2009 of kidney failure, Miss Rose moved to the care home.

Her care worker Caitlin Masters said: “She’s lovely and she is really kind. She is the fourth person to turn 100 at the care home and it is always lovely when that happens.”

Miss Rose recalls visiting the Botanic Garden and swing dancing with her sister every Saturday and said: “When I was younger, I loved to go dancing. I love jazz and swing music.”

During the Second World War, Miss Rose stayed in Oxford helping with the war effort as a fire watcher.

She added: “I had to walk around the premises that we were supposed to be protecting.”

Staff have planned a special birthday bash at the home to celebrate.

But modest Miss Rose said: “I can’t see that it makes any difference. It is just another day.”

Miss Rose has two great nieces called Tracey and Susan.


  • In 1919, C.S. Lewis first moved to Headington.
  • The author of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, he lived at The Kilns, now called Lewis Close, from 1930 until his death.
  • In 1920, Headington was first connected to the city sewage system.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien moved to Sandfield Road in 1953.
  • The iconic Headington shark was put in place in New High Street in 1986.