Happiness key to Sidmouth 102-year-old’s long life

GREAT gran Margaret Mills enjoyed her 102nd birthday with family and friends on Sunday.

The special day also marked the 80th anniversary of her moving to Sidmouth.

Former librarian and Red Cross volunteer Margaret, a resident at Holmesley Nursing Home, says the secret to her long life has been happiness – and a low salt intake and not much sugar.

Staff spoiled popular Margaret for her birthday, and she was joined by son Adrian.

“It was a very nice birthday,” she said.

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“I’ve had a happy life and that’s been a help for me to live so long.”

Swindon born Margaret moved to Torquay in 1914 and then to Sidmouth on her 22nd birthday in 1932.

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It was in Sidmouth that she met her late husband Wilfred - who also lived to 100.

“We must have treated each other very well,” said Margaret.

The couple met at Sidmouth Arts Club and both performed in the Gilbert and Sullivan musical the Gondoliers.

Wilfred, who was in the Royal Observer Corps, and Margaret enjoyed travelling and visited Hong Kong, Zambia, Yugoslavia and much of Europe.

A librarian before she married, Margaret joined the Women’s Auxiliary Service during World War Two.

She also volunteered as a charity worker with the Sidmouth branch of the Red Cross for many years and became commandant.

Sue Hart, activities manager at Holmesley, said: “Margaret is very much loved by all the staff here. She’s a lovely lady and very interesting.”

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