A grandmother and great-grandmother who outlived both her children celebrated her 104th birthday this week with a tea party at her home in Stalham.

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Maisie Charles was born in Nottinghamshire in 1909, in a time before most people had electricity in their homes or drove cars.

After moving to Norfolk to live with her daughter 28 years ago, she said she stays young by drinking lots of water, having vinegar on her food and avoiding salt or pepper.

She said: “I can’t quite tell you what the secret is, I don’t smoke and I don’t drink.

“Years ago it was all different but I have had a happy life.”

She said she enjoyed ballroom dancing with her husband John when she was younger until he died in 1971.

And grandson Paul Layland, 52, a lorry driver from Wigan, said Mrs Charles still cooks and cleans for herself and is as bright as a button.

He said: “I am exactly half her age and if she keeps going the way she does she will outlive all of us.

“After my mum died two 
years ago and my dad died 18 years ago she is the only family I have left. She looked after me when I was younger and it is my turn now.”

Mr Layland said he visits every two or three weeks. He said: “She can’t wait until I am down sometimes and we speak at least three times a day.”



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