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Bishop's Stortford woman Winnie Smith celebrates 100th birthday with family and friends

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A can-do attitude and staying busy is what keeps you young, according to Bishop's Stortford centenarian Winnie Smith.

Winnie, who has lived in the town since she was 17, celebrated her 100th birthday on Wednesday January 29 and enjoyed a party with more than 70 family and friends at Great Hadham Golf and Country Club.

Speaking at her London Road home, where she lives by herself, managing to cook and look after her garden, she said: "I had a lovely birthday. It was nice to see everybody, all the family, and I still have all the cards up. I got 60, including the one from the Queen – everybody was keen to see that one as they'd never seen one before!"

Winnie lost her husband Geoffrey nine years ago. Pic: Vikki Lince (28338424)
Winnie lost her husband Geoffrey nine years ago. Pic: Vikki Lince (28338424)

According to her daughter Pauline, of Chantry Road, Winnie is fiercely independent.

"It's incredible that she's still on her own. She gets up and down the stairs and won't have a carer, and she still likes to make jams and pickles – she keeps herself busy."

Winnie added: "I'm very independent. I never thought I would make it to 100 – I'm the only one in the family who's reached it. I've worked all my life and like to keep busy – it's what keeps you young."

Winnie grew up in Middlesbrough and moved to London at 14 to work in service for a doctor's family. A few years later she followed her sister to Bishop's Stortford, where she got a job in the match factory and met husband-to-be Geoffrey.

They were married in 1942 before he was sent off to serve in the RAF in Burma, while Winnie worked in a munitions factory. Geoffrey died nine years ago, shortly before their 70th wedding anniversary.

The couple had three children: David, who died seven years ago, Michael and Pauline. Winnie was one of eight children herself. She now has eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, the youngest being just four months old.

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