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Barchester project brings 'Fascinating Lives' to light

Barchester project brings 'Fascinating Lives' to light
1st June 2011

Through the Barchester Care Homes 'Fascinating Lives' project, in which the memories of residents are collected, the glamorous life of former journalist and model Majorie Cowell has come to light.

After a tempestuous interview with aristocrat Lord Castlerosse who wrote the Sunday Express' Londoner's Log column, Majorie, the daughter of a naval officer, secured a job as his personal assistant, reports the Express.

This post launched the young girl into a glittering world in which she socialised with the likes of actresses Mary Pickford and Tiggy Losch as well as Fred Astaire's sister Adele.

During the war she moved back from Lord Castlerosse’s Killarney retreat in Ireland to London to be near her family, despite the protests of her boss, where the Sunday Express had her writing articles by day, and by night she contributed to the war effort by working as an ambulance driver.

The pretty journalist was also photographed for the newspaper whenever an attractive woman was needed to illustrate an article - a hobby that saw her spotted by a talent scout and become a model for French hair product Eugene.

She then enjoyed a stint running the UK office of colour photography expert, travelling to Spain, Italy and Paris. However, her fast paced jet-setting life came to an abrupt end when a handsome former Japanese prisoner of war visited the office one day.

Marjorie traded in her former life for a more mundane existence as a housewife - a decision she does not regret – and remained with Bill until his death in 1994.

"I remember being absolutely delighted when I was making marmalade for the first time and it set. I'm very glad I gave it all up to be a housewife," she told the publication.

And the 103-year-old's glamorous past? "It was all such an age ago, darling," she said.

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