Red carpet rolled out for Rita

Rita Cluett celebrated her 100th birthday on 10th March 2016. 

Picture: Allan Hutchings (160397-050) PPP-160314-142618006
Rita Cluett celebrated her 100th birthday on 10th March 2016. Picture: Allan Hutchings (160397-050) PPP-160314-142618006
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Rita Cluett has been a busy lady in the past few days as she marked a century of life.

The 100-year-old celebrated the milestone with a visit from her daughters Patricia Olding and Diane Davies, who came from Wales to see her mother.

TOGETHER Rita with the her daughter Pat Olding and son-in-law  Peter Olding.

TOGETHER Rita with the her daughter Pat Olding and son-in-law Peter Olding.

Meadow House care home at North End, Portsmouth, also put on a party for its birthday resident, and her family took her to the Queen’s Hotel, Southsea, for a celebratory meal.

Rita, who was born at Copythorn Road, Copnor, says: ‘I was overwhelmed – I haven’t got used to the idea of being 100 yet. But I’ve had a wonderful few days.’

Born in St Mary’s Hospital, Rita has spent all her life in Portsmouth, apart from a stint in Blackpool when she was evacuated with her daughters during the Second World War.

She married Charles Cluett in 1936, and during the war he was taken a prisoner of war in Germany for six years. The couple celebrated more than 60 years of marriage together.

YOUTH Rita when she was about 20

YOUTH Rita when she was about 20

During her career at the Co-operative headquarters in Fratton Road, Rita worked her way up to become deputy manager of the carpet department.

Rita’s daughters say that the secret to their mother’s longevity is eating well, hard work and plenty of confidence.

‘There’s nothing wrong with her brain,’ says Patricia. ‘She’s better than we are! She’s very knowledgeable and she’s always right, of course.’

And the celebrations aren’t over yet – in June, Rita’s granddaughter Julie Burge, who lives in Australia, plans to visit her.