A 100-year-old great-great grandmother who took her first foreign holiday aged 90 says hard work is the key to a long life.
Evelyn Warren, of Epping Road, Toot Hill, who celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday, grew up on a smallholding in Theydon Mount, where she and her nine siblings looked after cows, churned butter and helped in the orchard.
She said: “It was nice growing up around here and I was outside a lot of the time.
“I used to get the cows out and help feed them.
“We had a butter churn and one of my sisters, who had long hair, got it caught as she was turning the handle once. You had to had to watch out for your plait.
“I put my age down to hard work and I don’t drink or smoke.”
She moved to Toot Hill after marrying her late husband, Joseph, who lived in the village, and they moved to the house where she still lives in about 1935.
As well as caring for their children and some of their 20 grandchildren, she had a cleaning job at a house in the village for two days a week, which she only gave up when she was 90.
After working so hard, she got her first passport at the age of 90, when she went on holiday to Ireland, before taking a cruise to Egypt.
“It was lovely to go abroad,” she said. “We went to see the Sphinx in Egypt and the local school children spoke to us and had their photos taken with me.”
She had a day-long party at her home on Saturday to celebrate, visited by friends and some of her children, grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren.