Freda and George Cooper are a celebrated couple in the community who first moved to Rose Hill 52 years ago.
The couple first met on The Isle of Wight where they were both born. George spoke about their first encounter: “We were both out cycling, I was with my friend, Freda hers and we met on the floating bridge and then got together, we’ve been married for 75 years, Freda’s 97 now and I’m 95!”
Both have had numerous careers over their lifetime. George left school in 1936 and became an apprentice sign writer, he then volunteered at a youth club in Redditch teaching the children how to make posters; when the leader left he took charge of its 350 members. George also joined the Airforce when the war broke out in 1939 and served in the RAF until 1946.
Freda, had also done clerical work in a factory which made Spitfire parts during the war. She also holds a long service medal and clasp for the meals on wheels’ service for the Women’s Royal Voluntary service (WRVS) for 20 years’ service. Before moving to Oxford, Freda trained women to be hostesses for the Duke of Edinburgh Golden award and both she and George have visited Buckingham Palace three times over the years.
George is well known in the community for being the Chair of the Silver Threads pensioners club in Rose Hill. George said: “We’re the oldest pensioners club in Oxford, I think we’ve been going for 73 years, they were running when I came.”
George also explained how vital the club has been for older residents: “It’s important because it’s somewhere where pensioners can get together and socialize, the fact is a lot of them live on their own and it’s the only time of the week where they meet their friends. They all enjoy it, we do things like take them out to garden centres, on outings and annual holidays.”
Since retiring, Freda and George have explored a range of hobbies. George was a self-taught water colour painter, and his pictures are on display around the house, he also loved experimenting with woodwork.
Freda enjoyed cooking and knitting & designing toys, Freda laughed: “There’s now a family of them upstairs!”
They have also just become great, great, great grandparents!
Freda said: “When it comes to Christmas, the list just goes up and up!”
Congratulations to both Freda and George, and thanks for all the work they have done and continue to do in Rose Hill.