Kathleen celebrates 106th birthday

SHE was not expected to reach her first birthday, but yesterday Kathleen Grimwood cruised through her 106th.The sprightly spinster, believed to be one of Suffolk's oldest people, marked the anniversary with a boat ride along the River Stour.

SHE was not expected to reach her first birthday, but Kathleen Grimwood cruised through her 106th.

The sprightly spinster, believed to be one of Suffolk's oldest people, marked the anniversary with a boat ride along the River Stour.

And, amid the celebrations, she revealed how she had proved medical predictions well and truly wrong, living through two World Wars and the reign of five monarchs.

“I remember my mother saying she was told by doctors that I wouldn't live very long,” said Miss Grimwood from her home in Sudbury which she bought for just £1,000 in the early 1950s.

“So they baptised me when I was just three weeks old at St Peter's Church, where my parents were also married, in case I didn't live much longer.”

Despite the grim predictions - made by doctors after Miss Grimwood was a “weak baby” - the centenarian has seen wars, a moon landing and an England World Cup win.

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Miss Freeman, who has never married nor had children, said: “I had a twin sister, Gertrude, who lived to 90 and a great-grandmother who lived to 90 so I guess it runs in my family. I have always liked fresh air and exercise even if I can't always take it now.

“But I have also been very lucky to have ever so many good friends in the town, who are all very kind to me, and social services have also been very good.

“I have very fond memories of Sudbury and I can remember when the cows used to run through the town and there were horses on The Croft.”

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