Sheffield woman turns 100

100-year-old Ruth Charles
100-year-old Ruth Charles
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A Sheffield woman who has lived a remarkable 100 years has said the secret to a long life is a daily gin and tonic.

Ruth Charles, who was born during World War One in Bethnal Green, London, turned 100 on Monday at Heeley Bank Care Home.

The same day she was born, Sheffield United lifted the FA Cup beating Chelsea 3-0.

The centenarian is looking forward to a party hosted at the care home on Saturday.

Her daughter Judith Mabbott, aged 63 of Endowood Road, Millhouses, reckons she knows the secret to her long life.

She said: “In my honest opinion, I really think that her daily gin and tonic has helped!

“She has always been a hard worker and this sheer determination and grit to get to this age.”

And it was sheer determination that has got Ruth through recent setbacks.

Just before Christmas, she was diagnosed with pneumonia and was put on an end of life plan but against all the odds battled back.

But just when things were on the up, Ruth had a fall and broke her hip.

After treatment at Sheffield Northern General Hospital for a half-hip replacement, the 100-year-old is looking forward to seeing her four grandchildren coming far and wide to see her.

Owen, aged 37, from Switzerland, Harriet, 33, from Brighton, Peter, 28, from Chorley, Lancashire, and David, 26, from London, are all travelling up for the party.

Ruth’s eldest daughter Rachel Charles, 65, of Towcester, Northamptonshire, said: “She loves her grandchildren and looks forward to seeing them very much – it has kept her going.”

Ruth, who married late husband Edward, recalls a fascinating trip boat to Leningrad, Russia, where her husband challenged half the crew to a game of chess.

But the trip had a dark memories also as she recalled the chilling moment she witnessed Nazi soldiers lining the Kiel Canal in Germany, days before war broke out.

Her extraordinary life also saw Ruth elected to Birmingham City Council after the fighting stopped in 1945.

She has fond memories of cycling on a tandem bike with Edward across the country which included the snake pass in the 1940s.

He sadly passed away in 1991.

A former gardening enthusiast, a passionate lover of Sheffield’s Botanical gardens and a regular worshipper at Sheffield Cathedral, Ruth still enjoys trips out with family and friends.

She added: “I’m a tough old bird.”