Blitz survivor Cecillia shares secrets of her 100 years

By Steve Carpenter 25/04 Updated: 25/04 17:07

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Buy photos » Cecillia celebrating her 100th birthday with friends, family and staff from the Lammas Care home. Picture by Jon Mullis. 17.012.006.cov.jm2 (

DO NOT smoke and drink only on special occasions - these are the ingredients for eternal youth according to one resident who has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Friends and family from all over the world joined quick-witted Cecillia Wilkinson at her birthday party on Friday at Sanctuary Care’s Lammas House Care Home where she has lived for over a year.

Guests flew in from across the globe to celebrate her milestone, including niece Margaret Simonson who lives in America as well as relatives from New Zealand.

And when asked what the birthday girl’s secret to reaching such a wonderful age was, she said: "I have never smoked and only drank alcohol on very special occasions.

"I will be very happy to finish off my days at Lammas House and have had a very good life with no grumbles."

Cecillia is a Coventry lady through and through, and had witnessed many historical events during her life time, including the Blitz.

Born in Grafton Street, Gosford Green, she started work at The Standard Motor Company at the age of 15 and left the firm at the age of 60 as supervisor in 1972.

She lived in King Edward Road from 1956 until a year ago when she moved to Lammas House after feeling incredibly vulnerable living on her own after becoming the victim of a mugging.

"Cecillia is a very independent lady and is a real character at Lammas House," said the home’s manager Shai Ahmed.

"She is very witty, bubbly and sociable and always joins in with everything that is going on here.

"She is part of our family here and we are so proud to be able to celebrate this special day with Cecillia and her family, who have travelled from all over the world to be with her."

Celebrations included a blessing at the home, followed by the cutting of the birthday cake and a performance by Wyken Male Voice Choir.

The birthday girl, who has never married added: "I chose to enjoy my life as a single person."

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