Cribbage ace Grace will celebrate her 103rd birthday on Easter Sunday – with the bonniest bonnet

Grace Smith (centre) who is 103 on Easter Sunday wearing her winning easter bonnet, surrounded by ot

Grace Smith (centre) who is 103 on Easter Sunday wearing her winning easter bonnet, surrounded by other ladies from Dereham Meeting Point group. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A Dereham centenarian whose 103rd birthday falls on Easter Sunday celebrated in fine spring-time style – by winning an Easter Bonnet competition.

Grace Smith who is 103 on Easter Sunday wearing her winning easter bonnet. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Grace Smith who is 103 on Easter Sunday wearing her winning easter bonnet. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Grace Smith, from Toftwood, is the oldest member of the Meeting Point day centre on St Withburga Lane, where she met up with friends on Thursday for an Easter Bonnet Parade. She was delighted to be awarded first prize.

'Easter has always been a nice time for me,' she said. 'I have been here (in Dereham) for a good many years, over 30 years, so we have always celebrated Easter here.

'I have got some very good friends and a nephew who does a lot for me. Someone usually takes me out for dinner for my birthday, and that is what I'm doing this year.'

Mrs Smith was married in 1935 to Robert Smith, who was a Royal Marine, and she worked as a Red Cross nurse during the Second World War. She later worked for the Co-op until she retired at the age of 70 and moved to Norfolk.


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David Rosenwould, 78, who married Mrs Smith's niece and is now affectionately referred to as her 'nephew', was also at the Easter celebration.

He said: 'We go out for lunch two days a week and she will decide which pub to go to and we will travel round the country going for meals. That's something which keeps her going. I was going to take her out on Sunday, but she said: 'Too late, somebody else has already asked!'

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'She is very active and her mind is obviously still there. She used to ride a bike until she was 90. Last year she fell and broke her hip, but she has bounced back after that, which is amazing.

'She has got lots of people looking after her and she really enjoys coming down here and playing cribbage and having a good old-fashioned sing-song.

At Meeting Point, Mrs Smith is well-known as an ace cribbage player.

Centre manager Shonette Mooney said: 'She is a very astute crib player, which is very difficult mathematically and involves a lot of counting. She lives on her own and is very independent – she does all her own baking and all her own cooking.'

Are you celebrating a special anniversary or milestone? Contact newsdesk@archant.co.uk.

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