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Woman, 83, collects half of Old Coulsdon's poppy appeal donations

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AN 83-YEAR-OLD woman has single-handedly collected nearly half of Old Coulsdon's contribution to the annual poppy appeal, in her 45th year of collecting.

Audrey Stephens collected £669.45 during three days rattling her tin in The Parade, Old Coulsdon, and visiting neighbours in her street.

The total collected from the Old Coulsdon area was £1,905, down on last year, although Mrs Stephens' takings were up.

The mother of three said she braved the cold and damp year on year because she was "incredibly grateful" to servicemen and women.

She said: "My uncles were both killed in World War One. My father, Thomas Semark, was very upset because he got rheumatoid arthritis when training and could not fight and regretted it, so I have always felt done I have done it for him."

Mrs Stephens said she would continue to collect for "as long as my legs and back will stand."

She added: "I stand by the shops near Danny's Fish and Chips as he keeps me supplied with coffee and chips.

"I do not get very lonely because I have met lots of people now.

"Lots of people wait until they see me and then tuck their note into my box."

Woman, 83, collects half of Old Coulsdon's poppy appeal donations


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