Obituary: Former landlady of The Star pub in Dunmow, Violet Holden

Violet Holden, the former landlady of The Star in Dunmow, who has died age 106

Violet Holden, the former landlady of The Star in Dunmow, pictured at the pub when she celebrated her 100th birthday - Credit: Steve Harvey

The former landlady of The Star pub, Dunmow, has died aged 106.

Violet Holden played a central role in community life, and a great number of couples met and got married having been introduced to each other in the pub she ran with husband Ernest for 26 years.

It's believed it was the first pub in the country to have a jukebox.

The Star was also the meeting place for a range of organisations, from the Dunmow Motor Cycle Club, to the boxing club, fishing club and model club.

Violet was at the heart of community life, and also took part in Dunmow Carnival every year.

Violet Wilks was born in Felsted on February 15, 1915, not long after the outbreak of the First World War.

She was one of 11 children and her household had six sisters and four brothers. Their father was a horseman in the war.

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After the war ended the family moved to Dunmow.

Dunmow life suited Violet well, because she never left the town.

Violet used to tell how she walked to school and to St Mary’s Church for Sunday School in all weathers.

When she left school, Violet went into service as a nanny.

She met husband to be Ernest Holden, a chauffeur, in Great Dunmow Post Office. The couple married when Violet was 19 and they had four children - Shirley, Brian, Rita and Don.

They were together for 50 years until Ernest's death in 1985. 

Violet's funeral service at St Mary's Church, Great Dunmow, heard a moving tribute from her son Don, who said his mother always had time for each of them.

He still has fond memories of Fridays, her baking day, when she made apple pie and often made a fruit cake.

Tribute to the late Violet Holden of Dunmow, who is pictured holding a card from Her Majesty The Queen

Violet Holden of Dunmow with her card from Her Majesty The Queen as she celebrated her 100th birthday - Credit: Steve Harvey

After The Star, Violet and Ernest moved to The Downs, Great Dunmow where many will remember spotting Violet sweeping the yard, a task she did even when she had passed her 100th year milestone birthday.

Violet enjoyed knitting, embroidery, crocheting, flowers, birds, and animals. But the most important thing to her was family.

She is survived by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.