She’s the spritely spinster who is about to celebrate her 100th birthday in the home she has lived in her whole life.
Vera Bunting is set to mark her 100th birthday tomorrow in the Lake District home where she has lived since 1921.
Her parents moved into the modest three-bed mid-terrace property, in Ambleside, Cumbria, when she was six-months-old.
But single Vera never left the property – despite four marriage proposals – and has no plans to leave.
The retired council worker said: ‘I never wanted to live anywhere else. I was always happy here.
‘Growing up I had a wonderful childhood, it used to look very different around here.
Vera Bunting (pictured left) is set to mark her 100th birthday tomorrow in the Lake District home where she has lived since 1921. Single Vera (pictured right in around 1940) never left the property – despite four marriage proposals – and has no plans to leave
Her parents moved into the modest three-bed mid-terrace property, in Ambleside, Cumbria, when she was six-months-old
‘Now it is built up with houses all around but back then we were surrounded by fields and trees.
‘My mum used to pack us up a picnic basket with sandwiches and cake – she was a good baker – and we’d go out into the fields with all our friends and play all day.
‘It was wonderful.’
Vera’s parents, Rosemary and Bob, moved onto Wansfell Terrace with babies Mary and Vera – paying just shillings in rent.
But with a third child on the way, they moved three doors down into a bigger house when Vera was just six months old.
Back then the property had a coal fire and an outside toilet.
Vera has lived in the same house ever since and continues to pay rent to the same family who they first rented the property from.
Vera’s parents, Rosemary and Bob (pictured in around 1940), moved onto Wansfell Terrace with babies Mary and Vera – paying just shillings in rent.
With a third child on the way (pictured left to right: Vera, her brother William and sister Mary), they moved three doors down into a bigger house when Vera was just six months old
Despite the property having two flights of stairs – with her bedroom on the first floor and the bathroom on the second – Vera is fit and agile enough to get around the place.
The soon-to-be-centenarian, who will have a low-key birthday party, puts her willingness to stay put down to the fact she lives in one of the most beautiful places in the world – Ambleside in the Lake District.
She also never left home because she didn’t marry – turning down four marriage proposals at the end of the war.
So when her older sister, Mary, and younger brother, Richard, moved out when they met their spouses, Vera stayed behind and vowed to always be there for her parents, Bob and Rosemary Bunting.
Vera said: ‘I had four proposals towards the end of the war but I didn’t want to be tied down.’
Her parents never considered buying their home, renting the property from a man who owned the 12 houses on the whole street.
Her parents never considered buying their home, renting the property (pictured) from a man who owned the 12 houses on the whole street
Back when Vera and her parents first moved into the property it had a coal fire (pictured) and an outside toilet
Vera’s (pictured left today and right in around 1940) three-bed house is still rented from the same family, with the daughter of the owner inheriting some of the properties from her father.
Vera’s three-bed house is still rented from the same family, with the daughter of the owner inheriting some of the properties from her father.
Some of the houses on the terrace were inherited and sold by grandchildren.
Earlier his year one of the houses on the street sold for £300,000.
Vera said: ‘At one point I did consider moving to buy a house but my dad wouldn’t let me. He said I didn’t want to get into property.
‘Of course, he was wrong.’
Vera made good on her promise to look after her mum and dad, taking early retirement from her job working as secretary for Ambleside Council to look after her mum when her dad died in 1970.
She looked after her mum until she died, at home, in 1981.
Active Vera puts her longevity down to the fact she has never smoked or drank and living in clean, fresh air.
Active Vera puts her longevity down to the fact she has never smoked or drank and living in clean, fresh air
She said: ‘I loved to go dancing when I was younger, we had plenty of partners as the soldiers were stationed nearby at Grasmere.
‘I had some friends who were going to pubs but my dad told me that if I were to start going to them I wouldn’t be doing any more dancing. So I never did.
‘Instead I would dance and go walking in the mountains every weekend with my friends.
‘I do love to travel, I have holidayed all over the world, but home is where the heart is. I am very lucky to live here.’
Travel loving Vera has visited Australia, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Sardinia, Tunisia, North Africa and she even had an audience with Pope Francis in Rome.
Vera’s fitness means she can stay in her home, with her home comforts, looking after herself.
Vera does now have central heating although she still has a coal fire and will put a log on when the dark nights draw in.
She also has a downstairs loo which was put in when the home had an upgrade to include a bathroom and inside loo.
Ver said: ‘We had a back porch and the fella who came to inspect said we ought to turn that into a toilet for my elderly mum.’
Vera keeps her mind active by writing a journal every day – something she has done since she was 18-years-old.
Vera did her own shopping until the pandemic hit and is now being helped by her nephew, retired gas fitter, Kevin Bunting, 68, and his wife, National Trust employee, Suzi Bunting, 61.
The pair are in awe of Auntie V – as they call her – and are delighted to celebrate her centenary with her.
Suzi said: ‘Quite a remarkable and still an independent lady is Miss Bunting.’