'Find happiness in everything and always smile'- advice from Peterborough resident celebrating her 102nd birthday

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May has celebrated her 102nd birthday at Ashlynn Grange in Peterborough.

“Find happiness in everything and always have a smile.”

Those are the words of May, who recently celebrated her 102nd birthday at Ashlynn Grange Care Home in Bretton Gate.

May – who was christened Pearl - is a remarkable lady with a vibrant past and an enduring zest for life.

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May and family at Ashlynn Grange.May and family at Ashlynn Grange.
May and family at Ashlynn Grange.

She had three children, two of whom she has outlived, and has six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Born and raised in Peterborough May lived independently in her own home until the age of 101, showcasing her incredible spirit and resilience.

According to May, life at Ashlynn Grange suits her well, where she enjoys both the food and the activities offered. She particularly relishes a good roast dinner, a classic comfort food that brings back fond memories. The community at Ashlynn Grange keeps her engaged and entertained, with craft activities that remind her of her younger days when she was an avid knitter and also enjoyed crochet.

May was married to Albert for more than 60 years and for 20 years of their life together the couple lived in Canada with their daughter and her family before returning to Peterborough in their 70s.

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May at Ashlynn Grange.May at Ashlynn Grange.
May at Ashlynn Grange.

Albert was a Royal Marine Commando during the war seeing action many times including during D-Day. He was shot but survived.

May worked in a parachute factory while Albert was away and spent many years of her working life as a dressmaker. She once worked as a seamstress in a local corset factory, a job that honed her skills and ignited her passion for creating beautiful garments.

Her talent extended beyond dressmaking, as she also loved cake making and sugar craft. She worked an allotment in Peterborough with her husband for many years.

Her son Pat, who is a regular visitor to Ashlynn Grange, said, “Mum was always a fantastic cook and loved family gatherings – she still does. She has an active mind and enjoys being busy as best she can.”

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May’s love for crafts hasn’t waned. She still enjoys participating in the craft activities at Ashlynn Grange, a testament to her lifelong creativity and dexterity.

Music from the 1940s holds a special place in her heart. As a young woman in her twenties, those tunes provided the soundtrack to some great memories. To this day, the melodies of that era bring a twinkle to her eye and a smile to her face.

When it’s time to relax, May enjoys watching television. Two of her favourite shows are Gardeners World and The Repair Shop which she can be found watching along with the other residents.

On her birthday May enjoyed visits from her family who live locally as well as flowers from family in Canada.

The kitchen team at Ashlynn Grange prepared a fantastic cake which she shared with her friends at the home.

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