WATCH: Age no barrier as Bett, 99, enjoys a row across the harbour
A boating club in Portsmouth took out a very special 99-year-old passenger.
They went past the mother-of-three’s favourite pub, the Thatched House.
Bett said: ‘It was lovely. I’ve looked out at the water from the Thatched House and now I have rowed across it.’
Her daughter, Gill Russell, said: ‘It took four nice young men to put her in the boat, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
‘Some members of the family gathered to support her and we all went to the ECA bar afterwards with a bottle of champers, which was donated by the club, and toasted her health with the crew.’
Bett, who turns 100 on Christmas Day, has always had an interest in boats.
Gill, a member of the ECA, said: ‘Her husband was in the Royal Air Force, so she travelled the world and they had an open 21 ft motor boat in Singapore.
‘My dad used to moor it offshore and we used to all swim out to it.’
Bett took her opportunity as a passenger in the Cornish pilot gig to shout instructions at the six rowers, which her daughter jokingly described as ‘very helpful.’
The ECA owns two traditional Cornish pilot gigs funded by a grant from Sport England in 2014.
Originally used in Cornwall and the Scillies, rowing gigs took out pilots to incoming sailing ships to escort them safely into the harbour.
Treasurer of the ECA Bob Evans said: Our members and their guests are welcome to come along and have a go at rowing and Bett came along and had a go at gig rowing.
‘She is a remarkable lady and we were all delighted to meet her.’
Gill added: ‘I used to have a sailing boat and we once sailed down the French canals.
‘She came down for three weeks and ended up staying for six weeks.
‘She always has been an active and intelligent woman.’