Family, friends and whisky as great grandmother celebrates 100th birthday

A great grandmother has credited her family, friends and a nightly fix of whisky for long life as she celebrates turning 100 on Christmas Day.

Edith Pryor, born on December 25 1917, will enjoy the centenary with a party, a quiz and potentially two cakes, one for each occasion, at a Bupa care home in Middlesex.

Her family, made up of three children, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren, are expected to be at her side to commemorate the milestone.

She has also received recognition from the Queen with a traditional telegram sent to mark 100th birthdays.

Edith Pryor with her birthday message from the Queen
Edith Pryor with her birthday message from the Queen (Bupa/PA)

Mrs Pryor has lived at the Erskine Hall care home for two years after her husband of nearly 60 years died in 2005, Bupa said.

She said: "I count myself lucky to reach 100, especially with so many wonderful people around me.

"I'm often asked for my secret for a long life and my answer is always the same: the love of family and friends, along with a little whisky at the end of each day."

An avid quizzer, Mrs Pryor takes part in weekly challenges to keep her mind active, prompting staff to host an event in her honour.

She was born and raised in London, leaving school at 14 to work in a factory before becoming a typist during the Second World War.

When she was 18 she met her future husband, Edward, at an evening class where she had been studying shorthand and typing and he bookkeeping.

Edith Pryor with her husband Edward
Edith Pryor with her husband Edward (Bupa/PA)

The wedding did not follow for a further nine years, however, as Edward spent five years being held as a prisoner of war.

She described the children they raised together as her greatest achievement.

Despite Mrs Pryor's birthday coinciding with Christmas festivities, she has got used to the annual fanfare.

"For as long as I can remember now, people have been asking me what it's like to have my birthday on Christmas Day," she said.

"I must say, after doing it for 100 years I'm rather used to it now, though I do quite like that I get two cakes."

Birthday celebrations have got increasingly extravagant as the years professed, she said.

"My father passed away when I was 10 so we weren't especially well off. But it was never a problem though, as we enjoyed spending time together as a family.

"It's exactly the same now - Christmas is all about being together."

Happy 100th birthday to #Christmas baby Edith Pryor! Read more here https://t.co/T1PlWNqA6Hpic.twitter.com/MOsZHzUQyP

-- Bupa UK (@BupaUK) December 25, 2017

Megan Guest, activities co-ordinator at Bupa Erskine Hall, said: "Milestones like this don't come along every day, so we're pulling out all the stops to help give Edith a memorable birthday.

"Edith is sharp as anything and always on the winning quiz team so we thought it was the ideal way to help make the most of the occasion in the run up to Christmas."

More than 100 Bupa homes will open their doors to offer a full Christmas lunch for those who are not with family on Christmas Day as part of a scheme to tackle loneliness.

For more information or to book a place at an event, visit communitychristmas.org.uk or call 0800 063 9285.

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