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Kernow House resident flies flag for elderly

17th January 2007

A 109-year-old Kernow House resident has been the latest to sign the Barchester flag, which is traditionally signed by the oldest resident in each Barchester care home in the UK.

May Linsley, who lives in the Launceston home, will also have her life detailed in a special book.

Born in east London in 1897 to an athletic fish porter father, Ms Linsley went on to work as an "apprentice to the feathers" where she stripped ostrich feathers to be made into feather boas.

She went on to work in a sweatshop tailors in the East End before buying her own sewing machine and becoming self employed.

Ms Linsley also worked as a postwoman and married a postman.

In the 1950s she received a bravery award – a large framed certificate and £3-3s (£3.15) – for trying to save the life of a woman on fire.

She retired in Poole but moved to Cornwall when she was 104 to be closer to her cousin.

(font) The travelling flag features signatures from elderly people with a combined age of 3,160. It has raised over £1,500 for the Barchester Foundation.

Originally it was going to be auctioned but it was felt to be "too special to be sold".