Centenarian Muriel makes a splash with birthday swim for lifeboat crews

FEISTY Muriel Mason
FEISTY Muriel Mason
Haverhill's Family Christmas Night (as pictured from last year) takes place on Friday, December 1. Picture by Andy Mayes.

Haverhill festive weekend has plenty for all of the family

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WITH only one leg and about to celebrate her 100th year, Muriel Mason could have been forgiven for taking it easy on her birthday.

But the sporty centenarian decided to celebrate the milestone by doing a charity swim in aid of Selsey RNLI.

She waited in for the Queen’s telegram, but by 2pm on her birthday she was in her local swimming pool, doing the backstroke for 10 lengths.

The charity swim in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey – where Muriel lives – raised more than £2,000 for Selsey RNLI.

Muriel has been a keen swimmer all her life, regularly swimming across the river in her younger days.

And, despite having her right leg amputated above the knee in January due to blood clots, she has continued her passion in life.

Muriel’s interest in the RNLI started in 1970 after her daughter married a sailor.

Jo Wainwright, who Muriel lives with, explained: ‘Mum became fascinated by the RNLI and began to collect money for the lifeboats throughout the year.

‘When my husband died, we started to holiday in Selsey where there is a lifeboat station, and we decided to support that.’

Jo described her mother as a tenacious character following her health scare earlier this year.

The surgeons did not want to operate because there was a less than 50/50 chance that a woman her age would survive the surgery.

Jo said Muriel told the doctors: ‘Get on with it.

‘I’ve got a sponsored swim for the RNLI soon and I have to be well enough by then.

‘I haven’t got time to die, I’ve got too much to do.’

Jo added: ‘Only one adjective can accurately describe my mother – indomitable.’