Norfolk woman Vi Malin has lived through two world wars, 25 Prime Ministers, five monarchs and just one World Cup victory
- Credit: Ian Burt
Norfolk's oldest person Vi Malin enjoyed a 111th birthday party with family and friends today at Lisbon Court, the home where she lives in King's Lynn.
Mrs Malin, born in Ipswich on March 23, 1906, is the fourth oldest person in Britain. But she insists she never expected to live to such a ripe old age.
'She'd put it down to being friendly,' said her 66-year-old nephew Kevin Lloyd, a retired police officer.
'She's always been so friendly with people, she used to go on so many trips, she was into operetta and she could talk for England.'
Born in Ipswich, she later moved with her family to Sheffield, where her father was a pub landlord.
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At the age of 10, Mrs Malin said she remembered her father taking her outside to watch a German Zeppelin airship bombing parts of the city.
She left school at 14 and went to work in a steelworks. In 1931, she met her husband Jack.
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She said: 'I didn't like him, my mother said 'that boy keeps coming why don't you speak to him and go out to him'. I said I didn't like him. But then we got talking and we used to go out on church outings and that is how we got to know each other.'
Mrs Malin worked as a debt collector after the Second World War broke out, in 1939. Jack went off to North Africa in the army, but came home safely.
After he got a job on the trams, in 1946, he told his wife she didn't need to carry on working. She agreed and never worked again.
Her parents, George and Hannah Lloyd, had since moved to King's Lynn, where her father worked on the railways. Sadly, they were both drowned in the devastating floods of January 31, 1953, at their home at Winfarthing Avenue, King's Lynn.
Jack passed away in 1993. Mrs Malin took her first trip in an aeroplane in 1994 at the age of 87 to visit her niece in British Columbia, Canada.
In 2003, at the age of 97, she moved to Surrey to be nearer family. When they retired to Lynn, she came with them, moving into Lisbon Court two years ago.
Although partially sighted and a little hard of hearing, she still watches sport on TV. She remains a keen follower of her late husband's favourite football club, Sheffield Wednesday.