Felmingham pensioner reveals secret to long and happy life - on 105th birthday

Emma Amies who celebrated her 105th birthday on April 2, with her birthday card from the Queen, a co

Emma Amies who celebrated her 105th birthday on April 2, with her birthday card from the Queen, a comparative "youngster" at nearly 90. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Emma Amies was already 15 when the Queen, who turns 90 this month, was born.

Mrs Amies came into the world 105 years ago, on Sunday April 2 1911, the day the UK census was held.

Its results showed that one out of every seven employed people was a domestic servant and the population was a little over 45m. Today it's more than 65m.

Mrs Amies was born in Ashington, Northumberland, where her Norfolk-born father had gone to find work as a coal miner.

But ill health meant he brought his family, including toddler Emma, home to Felmingham, near Aylsham, for fresh air and a happy, rural life.

Emma, her sister and two brothers would play in the traffic-free road, enjoying games such as hopscotch and bowling the hoop.

The children walked nearly three miles, twice a day, to school in Colby and back.

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Emma left school at 14 and went into service, working in Sheringham, then in Southrepps.

In 1938 she married her husband Edgar in Felmingham Church, despite her father's reservations.

He believed Edgar was two-timing his daughter and threw away her engagement ring. But Edgar convinced Emma's family that his intentions were honourable.

The couple's only child, son Ron, was born on September 2 1939, the day before Britain entered the Second World War.

Mrs Amies worked for two North Walsham caterers and baker's, Fayers and Edwards. Her husband, who died aged 90, was Smallburgh Rural District Council treasurer, at Stalham.

Mrs Amies and a group of women friends loved dancing and she was a regular at North Walsham Community Centre ballroom sessions.

With support from her son and two friends, Mrs Amies managed to live independently in Felmingham until she was 101 when she moved to North Walsham's Rose Meadow care home.

She puts her longevity down to a calm outlook on life, advising: 'What happens will not be changed by worrying, so you might as well just get on with it, with a smile on your face.'

Do you know someone marking a special occasion? Contact alex.hurrell@archant.co.uk

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