HAVING a little of what you fancy is a South Tyneside gran’s secret to longevity.
Ellen Napier celebrated her 104th birthday yesterday at Bar Blue, in Western Approach, South Shields.
Despite her advancing years, the centenarian makes sure she never goes out without her lipstick and also swears by having a little tipple.
Mrs Napier, from Bishop Ramsey Court, off Prince Edward Road, South Shields, said: “It doesn’t really feel any different from being 103 to be honest.
“Although it is quite remarkable when I think how old I actually am. My doctor said I was his oldest patient.”
She added: “I don’t really have any secrets to old age, but I do like a little drop of lager.”
The grandmother–of-two was born in Newcastle and as a teenager she moved to America, where she trained as a hairdresser – working on Fifth Avenue in New York.
Several years later she moved back to the UK, where she continued her career in hairdressing, working in Selfridges in London.
She then went on to work in Bainbridges, in Newcastle before ending her career at Binns in King Street, South Shields.
Only daughter Roberta, who is married to Tony Purvis, said: “Mam is in very good health, she doesn’t get out ans about as much these days as she tends to get a little bit tired.
“She amazes us. She never eats any vegetables and pours salt on her food like it’s snow, but it doesn’t seem to be doing her any harm.”
The great-gran-of-four didn’t request any presents, but she is now looking forward to her 105th birthday when she will be eligible for a another card from the Queen.
Mr Purvis added: “For some reason a few years ago the rules were changed and people only receive the cards from the Queen on their 100th anniversary and then their 105th, instead of every birthday.
“Needless to say, Ellen wasn’t very happy about this.
“She’s now determined to get one next year.”