Keeping healthy key to AA road planner Ethel’s long life

Ethel Hunt celebrated her 100th birthday with a party at Belmont Hotel on August 2. She received a c

Ethel Hunt celebrated her 100th birthday with a party at Belmont Hotel on August 2. She received a card from the Queen. Picture: Rod Hunt - Credit: Archant

A wartime worker who helped motorists, including a famous concert artist, get to their destination has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Ethel Hunt was born on August 2 1919 in Small Heath, Birmingham.

The centenarian celebrated her special day with family at the Belmont Hotel on Friday (August 2).

The 100-year-old's secret to growing old is not to get ill, with her son Rod adding his mother has lived her life devoid of coughs and colds.

Growing up, Mrs Hunt attended Waverly Grammar School in Birmingham before working at the AA.

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In a role equivalent to a SatNav, Mrs Hunt used to prepare routes for people wanting to know the best way to travel and even helped her idol American bass baritone concert artist Paul Robeson.

She found her stride when she went to work as an accounts clerk with Birmingham Gas Company.

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She lives in Seaton and moved there two decades ago when her son Rod took over the Antiques Centre in Colyton.

Mr Hunt said: "This was wartime; she tells stories of having to work the switchboard when an air raid was on and everyone else was in the shelter, not a pleasant task at a gasworks.

"Also as was the norm in those times she worked part time for the emergency services, manning the phones for the National Fire Service.

"Her accounts ability came in useful in later years, doing freelance accounts for small businesses and for a time for the family business Colyton Antiques Centre.

"Sadly she now suffers from Alzheimer's but still manages to retain her cheerful, happy personality.

"If she were asked what contributes to a long life the only answer would be never get ill.

"Somehow, unlike the rest of us, she has lived a life devoid of illness, not even the regular coughs and colds we all seem to suffer from."

In 1942 she married her husband Ernie and had two children Marilyn and Roderick and moved to Devon in 1960.

Ernie died in 1983. The couple have two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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