Garden party treat for 100-year-old Margaret

Margaret Rigby from Chorley has been granted the BEM
Margaret Rigby from Chorley has been granted the BEM
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One hundred-year-old Margaret Rigby enjoyed one very special party she will never forget.

Margaret, who reached her centenarian milestone on June 1, was rubbing shoulders with the great and the good just days later at Buckingham Palace at the Queen’s Garden Party.

She said: “I went to the garden party on Tuesday.

“It was lovely. The weather was gorgeous as well. It was really an impressive affair.”

Margaret, who received a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List for being a champion of the Girl Guide movement, said she did not get close to the Royal Family but managed glimpses of them anyway.

“You are looking at royalty over people’s heads,” she

“And when they were going into the palace I got quite a good view of them all.

“I went round London. We must have walked miles.

“We went to Prime Minister’s Question Time for which we had invitations. It was good. It was very interesting.

“It was the strike of all the taxi drivers. Buses weren’t running, so we went on the underground.”

Margaret, of Devonshire Court, Chorley, only stopped driving herself when she was 92 – but she doesn’t miss it.

“There were too many roundabouts and I didn’t know which way to go,” she said.

Margaret was recognised for services to the Girl Guides in Lancashire over a period of 86 years.

She was 13 when she first enrolled as a Girl Guide, and took part in activities such as lighting fires, cooking and going on hikes.

She said: “A lot has changed over the years – the things we used to do then probably seem old-fashioned now, including the uniform.

“However, the Girl Guiding movement is very worthwhile.

“I developed some great friendships with other people involved, including one girl who I camped with in Eastbourne in 1931.

“We wrote to one another and met up twice over the years until she died about five years ago.”

Margaret, whose husband Thomas died in 1992, became a ranger and then secretary and leader of various guiding groups, all in the Chorley

She now continues her service as a member of the Trefoil Guild, an adult group which gives practical, financial and moral support to the guiding and scouting movements.

She is also involved with the Chorley Circle of the Catenian Association and was among those celebrating the group’s centenary recently.

Her father helped to found the Circle just two weeks before she was born and her husband Thomas was a long-standing member.

Thomas joined in 1948 and was a member until he died.

And what has given her such a long life?

“No smoking, no drinking, only moderately,” she said.