Great grandmother from Wymondham celebrates 100th birthday

Ruby Ford (right) celebrates her 100th birthday at Ogden Court in Wymondham with her sister Pam Cole

Ruby Ford (right) celebrates her 100th birthday at Ogden Court in Wymondham with her sister Pam Colenutt. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

A Wymondham woman has celebrated her 100th birthday – a quarter of a century after her mother reached the same magnificent milestone.

Ruby Ford, who lives at Ogden Court, celebrated her century surrounded by 75 friends and family members, some of whom had travelled hundreds of miles.

And good genes clearly run in the family as in 1987 Mrs Ford's mother, Ethel Penell, celebrated her own 100th birthday – as reported in the Norwich Evening News.

Mrs Ford said she owes her 'wonderful life' to her husband and children. She was born in Paddington but moved to Norwich when she was a child.

She went to school in North Creake, Lowestoft and Attleborough before moving to Wymondham where she worked at the local printing firm, Reeves, where she met her husband, Frank.

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After buying a pencil from the shop for three consecutive days, he asked Mrs Ford for a typewriter ribbon and when she asked for the make of the machine, he confessed he did not own one and asked her out on a date.

Within six weeks they were engaged. They married in Wymondham Abbey on March 4, 1939, and honeymooned on the Isle of Man. Through Mr Ford's job as a naval ffficer, the couple travelled around the world to Africa and Saudi Arabia.

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Mrs Ford, who has four children, Adrian, Mervyn, Dawn and Rosalyn, said: 'I had a wonderful husband. I have had a very exciting life.' Mrs Ford's daughter, Dawn Goodings, who lives in Wicklewood, helped to organise the surprise party.

'When you think about it 100 is a great age,' she said. 'Mum doesn't smoke but she does like a glass of wine. She eats a lot of fish but not much meat.'

Mrs Ford, who has eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren, celebrated her special day with her younger sister, Pam Colenutt, 89, by her side. She stays active and until three years ago lived in her own home in Kimberley Street, Wymondham. Mrs Ford has an interest in current affairs. She also enjoys watching Formula One and is a keen supporter of Lewis Hamilton.

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