A CUPPA is the secret to a long life according to an 105-year-old who could be Sheffield’s oldest person.
Charlotte Twells marked her milestone birthday yesterday with a performance from singing school pupils and a tea party, where she drank her favourite brew, at Paddock Hill residential home on Gleadless Road.
The celebrations were a surprise for the ‘lively’ lady who shies away from fuss and lived independently at Base Green until two years ago.
Sweet-toothed Charlotte told The Star: “I love tea and I have three spoonfuls full of sugar in every one, I have at least eight cups a day.
“That must be the secret to a long life because it keeps you strong, they say.
“I never thought about living to 105. It’s not me that’s wonderful it’s the age that is.”
Born in Richards Road, Heeley, in 1906, Charlotte was the second of four children and went to Heeley Parish School.
At 18, she went to care for an aunt in Ross-on-Wye, Hertfordshire - and stayed there until her 40s. Once back in Sheffield she worked briefly as a cook on The Moor and then devoted her days to looking after beloved dad Matthew until he died aged 95. Her siblings also lived until their nineties.
The cat-lover has lived through decades of unimaginable change – from two world wars to space travel.
She remembers vividly the days before electricity, carrying candles to bed, and war being announced.
“Someone said there was a war on, of course I started to crying. The war didn’t seem to affect us somehow, though.”
Charlotte, who says she ‘didn’t have the chance’ to fall in love, has always loved reading and writing. Last year she featured in The Star in an appeal for pen pals.
Sadly that is something she is unable to do now, as her vision has grown worse.
But staff at Paddock Hill say she is still one of their biggest characters, who loves meeting people and is called Miss Whistle for her happy whistling.
Emma Naretti, Charlotte’s key worker, said: “Charlotte is so lively. She’s looked after people all her life and now it’s time we looked after her.
“Everyone here wants to wish her a very big happy birthday.”