One of Britain’s oldest women has celebrated her 105th birthday in the PUB despite the coronavirus panic and says the secret to longevity is to “keep going in the face of adversity.”
Ellen Matthews was born on March 17, 1915 and has lived through 25 prime ministers, four monarchs and survived both world wars.
The defiant pensioner says “she has seen it all in her time” and was not going to let the current COVID-19 outbreak stop her celebrating with friends and family.
On Wednesday (17/3) she enjoyed a glass of wine as well as afternoon tea at the Edge of Town pub in Northampton surrounded by relatives.
Ellen said she wanted the event to go ahead despite the coronavirus outbreak sweeping Britain, adding: “You only die once”.
Ellen, who is known to most of her family as ‘Auntie Nelly’, still lives at home in Wooton, Northants., despite having a stroke and only having limited use of her right arm.
She has carers who visit her three times a day who Ellen says ‘”look after her very well”, but she often still manages to cook for herself.
She said: “I have a very good appetite and I still manage to do little bits of cooking.
“I eat good food, loads of vegetables and I do enjoy a glass of wine.
“I have my faith, which is Church of England. When he chooses, I am going to go happily and at peace.”
When asked what her advice would be to help others live a long and happy life, she simply replied: “Keep going in the face of adversity.”
Ellen had a long working life, including as a nurse for premature babies at Northampton General Hospital and then working in care homes for seven and a half years.
She said: “I worked with little babies and I worked with older people until they died. I saw them in and saw them out.”
Gran-of-two Ellen finished off her birthday celebrations with a visit to a SEX SHOP, her family revealed.
She visited the adult store with her relatives and told them: “It’s nothing I haven’t seen before.”
Niece Ann Renwick, 70, of Telford, Shrops, said: “We had a wonderful day.
“Auntie Nelly is a real character. She still has all her marbles and is a great laugh.
“She polished off a large wine, a triple brandy and then started drinking my wine.
“When I suggested we went to the sex shop next door, she jumped at the chance but shrugged ‘it’s probably nothing I haven’t seen before’.
“She knew what most of the things were but asked what the whip was for.
“She has always says a good appetite has helped her last this long. She can still get through a carvery no problem.
“Her memory isn’t what it is but she’s doing amazingly well and long may that continue.”
Great-grandmother of two Ellen was born in Ilford, East London, but was orphaned aged two after her dad was killed in France during the war and her mum died after her home was bombed.
She was taken in by a foster family at five-years-old and went on to marry her teenage sweetheart Walter aged 19 in 1934.
They had two children together and lived in Northamptonshire, before Walter passed away from cancer 25 years ago.
Ellen added: “I’ve done tremendous if I don’t say so myself. Its a good age and I still enjoy a laugh with my friends and family.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my birthday. I think I had a bit to drink, but it was my birthday so I’m allowed.
“It was first visit to a sex shop. It was quite an interesting experience.
“I didn’t buy anything, just for the record. There was nothing that took my fancy.
“I’ve lived through two wars so wasn’t going to let the coronavirus scupper our plans. Its a nasty business though and I hope I survive it.
“But I’ll be ready to go whenever my time comes, I haven’t done too badly. I’ve seen it all, good and bad , but you have to carry on smiling.”