SOUTH Tyneside’s grand old lady didn’t have a “single regret” as she toasted another magnificent milestone.
Marion Beaton turned 106 yesterday and says the secret to her long life is never tying the knot – but she won’t be raising a glass to that as her second gold rule is steering clear of alcohol.
Hugely popular Miss Beaton was showered with gifts and warm words at a special birthday party at Durham Court sheltered accomodation in Hebburn, which she has called home for the past 37 years.
A host of friends from the complex, in Victoria Road West, were joined by South Tyneside deputy mayor and mayoress, Coun Richard Porthouse and his wife Patricia.
Friends from the Cameo Club, a social club in Durham Court, supplied a tasty spread of food and her latest birthday cake, with guests also bringing along chocolates and flowers to make the day extra special.
Asked the secret to her continued good health, she said: “I have never married and never drank alcohol.
I have had a lovely day - I always enjoy my birthday partyMarion Beaton
“I have had a lovely day. I always enjoy my birthday party.”
As well as giving men and booze a wide berth, she kept fighting fit with a regiment of exercise, including playing tennis and even dancing on her 90th birthday.
South Tyneside deputy mayor, Coun Richard Porthouse, said: “It has been a fantastic day. I have come along to her last three birthday parties. She is a wonderful lady.”
Born five years before the outbreak of the First World War, Miss Beaton was raised in Hebburn Quay.
She worked at the Reyrolle factory in Hebburn from the age of 15 to 60 - and was given a gold watch for her long service.
She still enjoys the great outdoors, taking a weekly trip out to Littlehaven Hotel with pal Eric Nielson every Saturday.
Mr Nielson said; “We go out to the Littlehaven Hotel every Saturday. Everybody loves her there too.
“We have been going for about six years and I have never known her to miss a trip out due to ill health. She is fantastic and all the staff here make a big fuss of her.
Brian Scott, director of housing, finance and business at South Tyneside Homes, says Miss beaton is the organisation’s oldest tenant.
He said: “It has been a lovely day for her. It shows the affection that she is held in by the other residents of Durham Court and all of the staff.”