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Secrets of centenarian's long life

PUBLISHED: 22:47 18 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:22 03 March 2010

SWIMMING and diving kept Laura Crisp fit enough to reach her 100th birthday.

"It was a surprise, do I look 100?" she asked today at her home in Kent Lodge rest home, Woodbridge Road, Ipswich.

SWIMMING and diving kept Laura Crisp fit enough to reach her 100th birthday.

"It was a surprise, do I look 100?" she asked today at her home in Kent Lodge rest home, Woodbridge Road, Ipswich.

She put the secret down to keeping fit by swimming regularly, and said: "I used to swim a lot, and I loved diving but I don't do it now."

But she didn't want to get as old as another resident at the home, who recently celebrated her 103rd, and added: "That's too old!"

Mrs Crisp, who has been profoundly deaf throughout her life, was born in the Birmingham area in 1902, and attended the city's school for the deaf from the age of seven.

She left the school before she was 17, and had a long career working at Phillips and Piper in Ipswich until she was 72, sewing button holes on a machine.

She married her husband James in September 1936, who died in May 1977.

She has lived at Kent Lodge since last July, where she enjoyed a birthday party today with her family and Ipswich mayor Maureen Carrington-Brown this afternoon.

Friends and staff joined in the fun, and everybody shared a huge birthday cake.

Mrs Crisp also received a greetings card from the Queen.

In 1902:

n The Boer War ended.

n Landscape photographer Ansel Adams was born in San Francisco.

n The Womens' Suffragette and Abolition Movement was underway in the US.

n Author James Joyce took his first trip to Paris.

n The first teddy bear was invented during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.

n Ping pong had just been invented.

n It was the eve of the Wright brothers inventing the aeroplane, permission for the Panama Canal being granted, and the launch of Ford motor company.

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