THE secret to long life is to eat a Mars Bar and an ice-cream everyday, according to 100-year-old Annie Samphire.
Just like the Queen, sprightly Annie celebrated her birthday with two events – a slap-up meal in the local pub at the weekend and a party surrounded by friends and family at her Portchester home.
With a birthday card from the Queen and a telegram from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith proudly displayed among dozens of bouquets, Annie lapped up the attention.
She said: ‘I’ve just been talking, talking, talking to all the people who have come.
‘100 doesn’t seem so great to me – it’s just another number.’
Annie was born in Portsmouth in 1913, and moved to her current home in Portchester in 1975.
She said the biggest changes she has seen have been with electricity and cars.
‘When I was a child, we didn’t have electricity. When it finally came, my father said we were only allowed to have it downstairs and we had to keep gas upstairs. Everything is electric these days, even gas,’ said Annie.
She attributed to her health and long life to her sweet tooth and to keeping fit by walking everywhere.
She said: ‘I have a Mars Bar every afternoon and an ice cream before I go to bed.’
Annie said: ‘I’ve never had a car in my life. My husband, Harry, said to me that when he earned £5 a week we would buy one and of course the war came along and we never did.
‘We loved walking and I still love walking now.’
One of Annie’s six great grandchildren Alice Tait, 11, said: ‘It’s amazing that she has reached this age. I hope I reach 100. I’ve got an excuse to have an ice cream everyday now.’
Longevity runs in Annie’s family, with her mother Mable Long reaching 92 and two of her six sisters reaching their mid-90s.
Daughter Margaret True, said: ‘I just hope we all can do the same. She is a fantastic lady and very determined.’
Annie’s other daughter Betty Staley, from Fareham, said: ‘I knew she would reach 100. We keep asking her to have a pull cord fitted and she says: “No, that’s for old people”. She is truly amazing and very independent.’