Win waltzes to 100 years

Win Campbell (right) who is 100 years old enjoys a birthday tea dance at Cosham Community Centre with her dancing partner Sheila Charlton and friends.
Win Campbell (right) who is 100 years old enjoys a birthday tea dance at Cosham Community Centre with her dancing partner Sheila Charlton and friends.
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Win Campbell from Portchester turned 100 on January 2, but you wouldn’t be able to tell.

She marked the big milestone with a string of celebrations, including a trip to Warwickshire and lunch in a hotel.

So what crossed her mind when she woke up on her birthday? ‘Nothing really! I’m just amazed that I have got here and to be as well as I am, there are so many thousands of people my age that aren’t,’ she says.

She was born in 8 Seafield Terrace, now 176 Copnor Road, in 1915. ‘I was a tomboy when I was younger. I used to get up to all sorts of things, such as playing leap frog in the street,’ says Win.

In 1939 Win married sailor Albert Campbell, and enjoyed two years of marriage before he was lost onboard HMS Hood during World War Two, when it was infamously sunk by the Bismarck.

Win has lived in the same bungalow for 75 years in Allenby Grove, Portchester, and worked in the post office for 44 years, from the age of 16 until her retirement aged 60.

She was the officer in charge of the Portsea branch office for nine years, and for five years the Paulsgrove branch office.

Since retiring, Win travelled around the world with The News Womens Circle travel group, and took up yoga and dance.

She didn’t start dancing until she was 60, when she joined a club in Portchester in 1975.

She has been doing it ever since, joining the club in Cosham seven years ago.

‘I love it but I get rather short of breath these days, and I can’t keep up with the cha chas and the quicksteps quite so long,’ says Win.

‘You have a partner and I am usually the gent,’ she jokes.

For her birthday, Win took to the floor with people 30 years younger at her modern sequence dance club in Cosham Community Centre, where she picked a programme of her favourite dances for the occaision, including the Carribean Foxtrot, the Bluebird Waltz and the Oliver Cha Cha.

Michael Gale, 77, who runs the sequence dance club, says: ‘Win is a wonderful, hard-working lady with amazing energy and joy of living, very reliable and a joy to know.’

Niece Julie Brown, 58, and nephew Philip Parslow, 62, travelled from Hertfordshire and Surrey respectively to host a birthday lunch for Win at the Lysses House Hotel in Fareham, surrounded by 30 family and friends. Win also visits them by taxi.

The 100-year-old also visited her best friend Joan Davies’s daughter Jane and husband Ben in Warwickshire.

They threw her a small party and managed to fit 100 candles on a cake.

Win lives an independent lifestyle. She doesn’t have a washing machine, and still washes her bedding by hand in the bath – although she does use a spin dryer – and she has never had a television or central heating.

Her garden is a hobby of hers, where she grows her own flowers and vegetables.

‘It is immaculate, she keeps it completely perfect.

‘She now has someone mow the lawn but that is only recently,’ says niece Julie.

So what is the secret to Wins longevity, according to the lady herself?

‘Plenty of exercise and good healthy food.

‘Also a glass of sherry every evening – that was recommended by the doctor,’ she says.