Alice in wonderland: Mrs Stubbings celebrates her century

PUBLISHED: 12:36 11 February 2010 | UPDATED: 07:32 30 May 2010

WANT to live past 100 years old? Well Great Dunmow's latest centurion has let the cat out of the bag when it comes to the secrets of a long life. Alice Stubbings, who turned 100 on Thursday February 4, puts her grand old age down to two simple things - pl

WANT to live past 100 years old? Well Great Dunmow's latest centurion has let the cat out of the bag when it comes to the secrets of a long life.

Alice Stubbings, who turned 100 on Thursday February 4, puts her grand old age down to two simple things - plenty of exercise and lots of fresh air.

And as a keen tennis player in her earlier years, she should know.

Croft House nursing home resident Alice has her roots deeply set in the Essex countryside; she was born and raised on the east coast before moving with her husband Bob to the village of Felsted, she married him at the age of 41.

The pair made a living by setting up and running a grocery shop in the village for more than 20 years and after retirement and the death of her husband 20 years ago, Alice carried on living at a house in Causeway End and was a regular churchgoer. She then moved to the Great Dunmow Bupa-run care home two years ago.

On Thursday afternoon Alice took centre stage as nurses and residents at the Braintree Road home clapped, cheered and sang happy birthday as a huge cake was brought in complete with sparklers.

Although Alice was too shy to make an acceptance speech, a beaming smile told the whole story. After the festivities she told The Broadcast: "Long life isn't really a secret, all I have done is taken regular exercise and breathed in lots of fresh outdoor air. I have lived in Essex all my life and really love it and I still have some of the same hobbies now as I did years ago, including knitting, watching snooker and dress making."

According to family members at the party, dress making was a real Alice-speciality - she spent almost her entire life becoming an expert seamstress and created some wonderful clothes, selling them on to many keen admirers.

She spent the rest of her big day being looked after and pampered by the care home staff and enjoyed tea and cakes with family members throughout the afternoon.

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