Penarth woman celebrates 100th birthday

Penarth Times: BIRTHDAY: Dorothy Willett with her daughter Angela Rankin at Morel Court Residential Care Home (3217962) BIRTHDAY: Dorothy Willett with her daughter Angela Rankin at Morel Court Residential Care Home (3217962)

A PENARTH woman is still fighting fit at the age of 100 years old.

Dorothy Willett, who now lives at Morel Court Residential Care Home on Raisdale Road, said that keeping active was the secret to becoming a centenarian.

During her life Dorothy, who was born in Tenby and grew up in Bath, has played hockey, tennis, badminton and, in later years, bowls.

It was only after two broken hips that she had to retire from playing sports.

Dorothy celebrated her birthday with a party at the Manor House Hotel on Sully Road on New Year’s Day.

“45 people from all walks of her life came to see her,” said Mrs Willett’s daughter Angela.

“We worked out that people came from nine different counties to come to the party.

“We thought New Year’s Day would be awkward, but there were loads of people there.”

As well as a birthday card from the Queen, Mrs Willett also received more than 80 other cards from family and friends cards, including some from as far afield as Australia and South Africa.

“I don’t feel ancient,” she said.

“I have always been used to playing sports.

“I have always been dashing around on a hockey pitch or teaching children to play.”

Former geography teacher Mrs Willett played hockey for Ludlow High School, Ludlow Ladies and the Manchester University hockey team.

She then took up tennis and badminton before she started playing bowls.

“If I hadn’t had two broken hips I would have been a lot more active too,” she said.

Her daughter Angela Rankin, 71, added: “The hip replacements are the only times she has been in hospital.”

Dorothy moved to Penarth about 12 years ago and lived in Penarth House on Stanwell Road, before moving to Morel Court in June last year.

Asked about the secret to reaching 100 she said it was staying active and “drinking lots of water and the occasional tipple of sherry.”

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