A COUNTY Durham care home resident has shared her secret to a long life after celebrating her 100th birthday.
Ann “Nancy” Jones, who lives at Pelton Grange Care Home, on Front Street, Pelton, said she never expected to reach a century but still feels good for her age.
She put her longevity down to “working hard”, having worked at Pelton Post Office and previously washing floors for a tuppence during her younger years.
She said: “I never thought I would get to 100 and can’t understand it. I did not expect it. I feel good for my age though.
“My secret is working hard. I worked all my life and had support from my family. My brother’s friend Colin, especially, who has been a true friend and never let me down.
“I didn’t have much but I would always share what I had.”
Born on 25th February 1922 at home, Nancy has lived in Pelton all her life. She was the youngest of four, with two brothers and one sister, all of whom attended Pelton School.
Nancy’s mother contracted tuberculosis when she was young and was admitted to a sanatorium that was, coincidentally, on the same grounds as Pelton Grange Care Home.
When she was growing up, Nancy took an interest in knitting and sewing and often made her own clothes. She aspired to be a singer when she was younger and eventually met and married a pianist.
On 29th May 1944, Nancy married Edward Jones at Pelton Church, having met at the shops. The couple had two children, Pam and Carol, and a terrier named Peter.
The family enjoyed holidays to Whitley Bay and also visited Blackpool, although it wasn’t to Nancy’s taste as “it was too loud”, she recalled.
Nancy would cook her husband dinner most days through the week and they enjoyed egg and chips on the weekend, as well as an occasional glass of sherry and a beer for Eddie.
Nancy moved into Pelton Grange Care Home in February 2020, where she was visited by family from the North East, Scotland, Manchester, and the south of England.
The care home held a party with fellow residents and staff, with the lounge decorated with a balloon arch and banners, as well as Nancy’s birthday cards, flowers, and presents.
She said: “I can’t believe this is all for me.
“It’s lovely to see everyone’s smiling faces. Thank you to everybody for my lovely party. I loved my birthday cakes.”
Fiona Wilson, home manager at Pelton Grange Care Home, said: “Nancy is a phenomenal lady. Even at 100 years old she’s still very independent.
“She has a brilliant sense of humour and keeps everyone smiling. She’s been an absolute tonic during the pandemic. We all wish her the best birthday ever.”