London party

The former acrobat who performed at the London Palladium celebrates his 103rd birthday in Skegness

Bea celebrates her 103rd birthday with her son, Simon, and her daughter-in-law.

The family joined Bea Rapley for a party with residents and staff of Syne Hills Care Home on New Years Day.

Bea moved to Skegness in 1993 to be closer to her son and he and his daughter-in-law were special guests at the party.

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Born in Liverpool, Bea has had a rich and varied life, using her talent with numbers.

After getting a job at the Crawford biscuit factory at the age of 14, it wasn’t long before she found herself in the office processing orders.

From there, she went on stage with an amazing troupe of acrobats, “Les Trois Matas”.

“The Three Matas”, as they were also known, rose to fame in the mid to late 1930s and performed at all major London variety theaters such as the London Palladium.

Their fame was such that they were filmed for ‘Pathe News’ and can now be seen on youtube (Bea is the bottom one!).

When World War II broke out, they worked on ENZA, entertaining the troops during the war

After her marriage to Alex, she helped him run a fish and chip shop in Sunninghill, before working in the office of a garage.

She retired after working for Barclays bank, but continued to be busy after her retirement when she and her husband became involved in Ascot races.

Bea worked in the lost and found office where she had many surprising objects returned.

She continued to be active after moving to Skegness, spending several years volunteering at a charity shop.

She gave it up to spend more time supporting her husband, Alex, who sadly died in 2012 at the age of 95.

Bea moved into Syne Hills Care Home in 2014 when living at home became too much for her.

She has resided there for eight years and still cherishes her memories of her glamorous life on stage.