Portsmouth girl Esther Pitt celebrated her 100th birthday on October 13 with her family and friends at Regency Care Home, Southsea.
Born at 61 Stone Street, Southsea, Esther attended St Jude's School, Southsea, and married her husband, Stephen Pitt, in Portsmouth Cathedral, Old Portsmouth, on April 12, 1941.
‘They met while they were both picking nuts in Horsham,’ says Esther’s daughter Esther.
Esther was a dinner lady at Cottage Grove Infants School for 10 years, followed by a further 20 years as a non-teaching assistant at Arundel Court Infants School, retiring in October 1984.
The Pitts had two children Esther in 1942 and Roger in 1948, who died in 2013.
Esther was just 43 when her husband Stephen died in 1963 and a few years after being widowed, she took up evening classes in woodwork and metalwork.
Retirement did not curb her energy and enthusiasm for life and when she was in her 80s she took up Tai Chi. But her greatest joy was dancing and she achieved gold medals in ballroom and latin American.
Esther also has five grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandsons, many of whom she celebrated her milestone birthday with.
‘I think it’s fantastic she has reached 100 years old,’ says her daughter Esther.
‘She enjoyed her party and loved seeing her friends.
‘She believes she has reached 100 because she doesn’t drink alcohol. She hasn’t really changed as she has got older – she’s still a cheerful person.’