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Many happy returns to Marj

Vine Court resident, Marj Pritchard, reached an incredible milestone this week, celebrating her 100th birthday on Sunday 18 February.

Marj celebrated her special day with family at the nearby Chase Golf Club.

The following day a party was held in her honour at Vine Court, where the lounge was packed with family, friends, neighbours and well-wishers, all wanting to celebrate with the birthday girl.

Scheme administrator, Tina Cox, was on hand to bake cakes and even roped in her partner, Phil, as the entertainment for the afternoon. Phil is a singer and treated guests to classics such as New York New York and Sweet Caroline.

We went along to chat to Marj and to learn more about her life:

“I was actually born in Liverpool” she said, “We moved to a brand-new house near Cannock Wood when I was five and I stayed there until I married my husband when I was 21. After our wedding, we lived with my in-laws before we moved to our own house in Chadsmoor. We were married for a while before we had our daughter, Kath, I was 28 by then.

“I’m the seventh of nine children with six brothers and two sisters. I was born at the end of the First World War and when the second one came around, all six of my brothers were called up; my eldest brother actually received a medal from the Queen for his service. Only five of my brothers came back from the war and now I’m the only one left of all of us.

“I do still have a lot of family around me though; I have my daughter and son-in-law, four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren so I’m always busy.  I moved to Vine Court two years ago because Kath’s mother-in-law was coming to live here and she thought it would be good for her to know someone in her new home.”

Just a couple of minutes in Marj’s company is all it takes to get a sense of her zest for life and to look at her, you’d never guess that this is a celebration of her centenary.

“People don’t believe me when I say I’m 100” laughs Marj, “I have to get my birth certificate out!”

“People keep asking me about the secret to a long life and I honestly don’t know. I’ve broken my leg, I’ve broken my arm and now I have trouble getting around but I’ve worked hard all of my life and I used to dance. I’m always doing things, I don’t feel like I ever really retired and I think keeping busy must have something to do with it.”

Happy birthday Marj!