International Women’s Day – Rogers House Resident Mary Plumley’s Story
Living through her twenties in a post-war Britain, Mary Plumley, a resident of Rogers House Residential Care Home in Wigmore, made the most of the opportunities offered to her, enjoying a wealth of travel and exploration.
Ninety-two-year-old Mary was born in Rochester in 1929, where she lived with her sisters and her mother for much of her life. Widowed young, her mother didn’t have as much as Mary’s friend’s parents but she ensured they never went without. Mary’s mother was such an inspiration to her, she decided to leave school aged 13 in search of a job, so she could help to support her mother and gain some independence. It wasn’t long before Mary was offered a job at the Post Office in Strood, where life would change forever.
Mary worked at the Post Office for a long time and she made many friends there, she travelled extensively with one friend, with the pair visiting much of Europe. Mary’s favourite place to see was Italy, she loved the culture and the food, she recalls how her and her friend would set out on foot and explore every corner of the cities they visited. Mary also made friends with an Austrian girl, who had a German husband; she went on to visit them many times in Germany, even learning to speak the language.
For Mary though, the holidays weren’t as glamorous as they sound, she recalls backpacking and staying in hostels but says she wouldn’t have had it any other way, as that way, she could really experience the culture of the places she saw.
Mary also met her husband, Jeffrey, whilst working at the Post Office. They worked together for several years, but only exchanged a word or two, here or there. Until they met once again at a dance, Jeffrey asked Mary to dance and the rest was history, as they married in St Margaret’s Church, Rochester on 6th October 1956.
When asked what she is most proud of in her life, she says: “Myself. I’ve worked hard to help my family and to get everything out of life that I possibly could and I am so proud of the woman I have become. We never wanted children, it just didn’t suit our lifestyles and I don’t regret that one bit. I was able to get out there and see the world and what a wonderful world it is.”