100 not out for Sidmouth 'party girl' Elsie

SHE may have got a card from the Queen, but it was 29 family members and friends who made Elsie Maeer s 100th birthday a special one last week.

SHE may have got a card from the Queen, but it was 29 family members and friends who made Elsie Maeer's 100th birthday a special one last week.

If you ask plucky Elsie the secret to her longevity the answer is simple: "a happy family life", and well-wishers did her proud at the Westcliffe Hotel on Friday.

A musical card intact with a personal message from Elsie's favourite singer Daniel O' Donnell took pride of place alongside the Queen's best wishes in a myriad of gifts and familiar faces at the celebration.

Elsie, who took a job in Fields of Sidmouth in 1934 and lived in Victoria Road for 53 years before the death of her husband George in 2003, thanked all those who attended, including daughter Jane, son-in-law John and granddaughter Kira, for sharing "her very special day and making it such a happy one".

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Friends from the Volunteer Friday Club, Conservative Club, Cricket Club and staff from the Ridgeway Residential Home, where Elsie now lives, also joined in the fun.

Blasts from the past included former Fields colleague from the 1940s and 50s Mary Maeer who said Elsie "was always a party girl".

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Another old friend Bob Monson described how he gave up his seat on a bus for Elsie 75 years ago, unknowingly sitting her next to the love of her life George.

He said: "Their eyes met, love blossomed and they married as war broke out."

Daughter Jane, who now lives in Plymouth, said how "proud and lucky" she was to have had her mum for so long and pointed out everyone around the table meant a lot to the birthday girl.

She said: "She's still optimistic and determined, she very much enjoys visiting us and trips to the Theatre Royal, Plymouth.

"I hope she knows how special she is and if dad were here today he would have been very proud. In true cricketing tradition she is 100 not out.

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