Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Dorothy Wood 80 not out

Birthday girl- picture shows Dorothy behind her counter as usual but surrounded by 80th birthday flowers.

Birthday girl- picture shows Dorothy behind her counter as usual but surrounded by 80th birthday flowers.

Doyenne of Bohemia Rd

Newsagents are up there with dairy farmers when it comes to not having much free time. Christmas Day is the only day in the year when there are no newspapers published.  For the other 364, or 365 in a leap year, it’s up at 3.am to receive the papers – if they arrive on time – and start inserting all the supplements and magazines. So it’s surprising to say the least that Dorothy Wood, who celebrated her 80th birthday on February 4th is still hard at work every day with her son Keith, proprietor of  Woods’ Newsagents,  organising hundreds of newspapers into rounds large and small.
The shop has been going for 26 years, making Dorothy the doyenne of Bohemia Road. Her favourite pastimes are gardening and cooking, not that she gets much time for either. ‘My mother used to say, give Dorothy a bowl and some flour and she’ll play all day,’ says Dorothy, whose father, a Master Baker, moved down to the area from Wolverhampton where she was born, for health reasons. Three of Dorothy’s four surviving brothers and sisters still live locally, while her elder brother lives in Adelaide, Australia. And daughter Eileen is a senior teacher at a school in Cairns in the north of Australia.
For a special birthday treat, Keith took his Mum and helper Robert for a lunch at Cafe 67 on Bohemia Road, which they enjoyed immensely. The lunch was enlivened by the presentation of her eighth bouquet that day and a spontaneous rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ by some of the regulars at the Cafe. She was delighted to receive 28 birthday cards as well as the many floral gifts. “I had to take the roses off the counter, though, as some bloke tried to pinch them,” said Dorothy, who has coped with all kinds of situations in her time behind the till, but still presses on doggedly and always manages a smile. As she says herself, ‘I’m still cheeky.’ [by Bill Third]

Dorothy - snapped at the Cafe 67 on her 80th birthday

Dorothy - snapped at the Cafe 67 on her 80th birthday

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