January 2, 2010

UK: Great-great-grandmother celebrates her 110th birthday

. LONDON, England / UK Press Association / January 2, 2010 Great-great-grandmother Ellen Watson has celebrated her 110th birthday surrounded by her family and friends. Mrs Watson, who is among the oldest people in Britain, has lived through two world wars, six monarchs and 21 prime ministers. She marked the milestone at her Surrey care home and attributed her longevity to a healthy lifestyle and laughter, saying: "I've never smoked and rarely drunk alcohol apart from a sherry at Christmas and birthdays." She continued: "I've always eaten healthy food but the most important thing is laughter and having a good sense of humour." Over the years, Mrs Watson has witnessed numerous events including a Zeppelin flying over her home during the First World War and the blaze which destroyed the Crystal Palace exhibition hall in 1936. Born in Croydon, south London, she moved to Staines, in Surrey, with her husband, Samuel Watson, daughter Audrey and Audrey's husband Charles Hobbs in 1959. Ellen Watson saw the blaze in the Crystal Palace in 1936. Photo credit: BBC News They later moved to the neighbouring town of Ashford with Ellen's two grandchildren, Janet and Jonathan. This was the home in which Mrs Watson lived for 35 years and in which she and Mr Watson celebrated their golden wedding in 1974. Mr Watson, who had been battling a long-term illness, died a few days later. A lifelong bingo fan, Mrs Watson walked down Church Road in Ashford every week to the former cinema to play - something she continues to do at her care home, Anchor Homes' Meadowside, in Staines. Besides her daughter and two grandchildren, the pensioner also has three great-grandchildren - Candice, Danielle and Jonathan - four great-great-grandchildren - Jessica, Paige, Ben and James - and another great-great-grandchild and a great-great-great-grandchild are due in June. [rc] Copyright © 2010 The Press Association.