Phoebe Brown, whose 90th birthday is on 16th May, joined West Dartmoor U3A in the early 1990s and was born and brought up in Crapstone.
Their house was on the end of the runway and she has vivid memories of wartime activity on the Harrowbeer Airfield, with planes taking off immediately overhead.
Having trained as a P.E teacher at Bedford College, Phoebe began her career in Salisbury, returning to Tavistock in 1969, when she was appointed to teach at the Launceston comprehensive school.
Because she already had typing qualifications, Phoebe was able to transfer to the commercial department. However, since she had no shorthand, she went into Plymouth to learn this and keep a step ahead of her students. “At least I was able to understand their difficulties”, she said and added, “they all passed their exams”.
Phoebe has always been active in the town, enjoying Scottish dancing, which she still misses, and being involved with Oxfam and church activities. Besides leading walks for the U3A, Phoebe organised a garden visiting group and until recently was an active member of the fruit and vegetable gardening group.
She is still an enthusiastic scrabble player and it was with members of that group that she began her birthday celebrations, on Friday May 11th, with cake and wine.