Couple Nelly, 100, and Alec, 93, celebrate birthday on the same day at Thetford care home with East End treats

Nelly Manzonas on her 100th birthday at Alexander Court in Thetford with her telegram from the Queen. Nelly Manzonas on her 100th birthday at Alexander Court in Thetford with her telegram from the Queen.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
8:03 AM

An amazing couple with 193 years between them have celebrated a double birthday by bringing the East End to East Anglia.

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Nelly Manzonas on her 100th birthday at Alexander Court in Thetford with Thetford mayor Sylvia Armes, home manager Tony Howland and a lookalike of Captain Mainwaring from the Dad's Army museum.Nelly Manzonas on her 100th birthday at Alexander Court in Thetford with Thetford mayor Sylvia Armes, home manager Tony Howland and a lookalike of Captain Mainwaring from the Dad's Army museum.

Nelly Manzonas (nee Tonge) celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday with friends and family at Alexander Court care home in Thetford, accepting a telegram from the Queen from mayor Sylvia Armes.

And the celebrations were doubled as her husband of 59 years, Alec, toasted his 93rd birthday on the same day.

The couple, who met in London, were treated to a day of cockney specialties as they were taken out in a classic car, had jellied eels and pie and mash for lunch, and rounded out the day with a trip around Thetford on a 1967 Routemaster bus provided by First Group buses.

Before setting off, Nelly showed a spring in her step as she hopped on the Routemaster and boasted of her days as a roller-skater and ballroom dancer in the East End.

Nelly and Alex Manzonas on their 100th and 93rd birthdays at Alexander Court, ThetfordNelly and Alex Manzonas on their 100th and 93rd birthdays at Alexander Court, Thetford

There were also surprise guests, with look-alikes of Winston Churchill and Captain Mainwaring arriving for tea.

Tony Howland, manager at Alexander Court, said Nelly was “an absolute joy” to have in the home.

“She’s the life and soul and a real chatterbox. Alec is blind so he does very well and they share a lot of time together even though live separately.

“She’s very sprightly and mobile too - if I’m as good as her when I’m 60, let alone 100, I’ll be happy,” he said.

The couple’s neice, Doris Goulding, said the couple had met in 1954 in a cafe in East London.

“Alec was a cabinet-maker and she was working in the print business and their sets of friends used to go to Brick Lane for lunch.

“They courted for a couple of years before getting married and they’ve led such a full life ever since. They used to go away two or three times a year and they’ve been all over Europe,” she said.

Mr and Mrs Manzonas moved to Brandon 11 years ago before settling in Thetford earlier this year.

Do you have a story for us? Email reporter Andrew Fitchett on andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk

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