Five generations of family gather in Blofield to mark Ivy’s special birthday

Five generations. 100 year old Ivy Ryan celebrating with family at her Blofield home. Pictured with son Stanley Ryan, Susan Simm, right Zoe Simm and her son Theo Gowen (2 1/2 )Photo: Steve Adams Five generations. 100 year old Ivy Ryan celebrating with family at her Blofield home. Pictured with son Stanley Ryan, Susan Simm, right Zoe Simm and her son Theo Gowen (2 1/2 )Photo: Steve Adams

Lucy Clapham lucy.clapham@archant.co.uk
Monday, February 10, 2014
9:59 AM

It was a very special Sunday for great-great-grandmother Ivy Ryan as she gathered with five generations of her family to mark her 100th birthday.

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Ivy Ryan, from Blofield, is celebrating her 100th birthday on Sunday with five generations of her family. Pictured here as a teenagerIvy Ryan, from Blofield, is celebrating her 100th birthday on Sunday with five generations of her family. Pictured here as a teenager

The lifetime Norfolk resident was showered with gifts and cards – including best wishes from the Queen – as she celebrated her milestone year at home in Blofield.

She was joined by friends and family from across all five generations, including her only grandson Tim, 52, who travelled from New Zealand to celebrate Christmas in Norfolk, and stayed on to toast her special day.

Mrs Ryan, one of eight children, was born on February 9, 1914, in Hemblington.

She lived in Ranworth and South Walsham, where she raised her family, before moving to Westview Road in Belton.

The mother-of-two had various jobs before she retired, including working in a pub and as a currant picker, and said she did “anything that would earn a shilling”.

The centenarian also worked for several years at the Mackintosh sweet factory in Norwich.

Asked what the secret to a long life was, she replied: “Hard work, a good husband and home and a good family.”

Mrs Ryan is also well known for enjoying a drop of whiskey every night, like her mother and father did before her.

She married her late husband George in Hemblington in 1936 and had two sons, Stanley and David. And she is now a proud grandmother-of-five, great-grandmother-of-eight and great-great-grandmother-of-one, and was surrounded by a gathering of smiling family members throughout her celebration yesterday.

“It’s nice to have the family. It’s a little bit much,” she joked. “But I’m enjoying them.”

Mrs Ryan said she was pleased to receive a card from the Queen, as well as one from the Houses of Parliament, but said being 100 felt “no different” to 99.

Stanley, 75, from Caister, said: “It’s been great, it really has been nice to see everybody and we’re pleased we’re able to do it.

“Mum’s the only one in her family to reach 100.”

Are you celebrating a special family occasion this year? Let us know by emailing newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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