Ursula’s 100 today

Ursula Freeman with her telegram from the Queen to mark her centenary. Photo Helen Smith

ONE of Shetland’s oldest residents celebrated her 100th birthday with a party at Overtonlea care home on Thursday.

Ursula Freeman, from London, came to Shetland on holiday from England half a century ago and eventually retired to the cottage she had bought in Longfield, Dunrossness.

The possessor of an adventurous spirit she travelled to Africa in her 20s before returning to London during World War Two.


During the war she worked in catering and afterwards she made it her career, at one point being responsible for school meals in more than 100 schools in Buckinghamshire, though she said she would have preferred a life at sea.

She first came to Shetland on holiday and fell in love with the islands, buying her home and moving up here 30 years ago, where she took up the challenge of gardening.

“I enjoyed working in the garden and people kept saying to me that you will never grow anything here and it stimulated me to say I’ll show them,” she told BBC Radio Shetland.

Her family came north for the celebrations and a party ensued with her friends coming to visit in the afternoon.