Healthy lifestyle helps Kathleen reach 100

PLENTY of fruit and vegetables, no red meat, no smoking or drinking alcohol – these are the secrets to a long and healthy life, according to a great-grandmother who celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday.

Kathleen Smart, of High Street, Upper Beading, enjoyed a special surprise party on Sunday, organised by her daughter, Valerie Cook, and attended by relatives and family friends.

More than 20 guests were treated to a spread of tea and cakes, which had been prepared in secret, so as not to give the game away.

“It was lovely to see everyone and a great big surprise,” said Kathleen.

“I didn’t know anything about it.”

When Kathleen’s friend Margaret arrived for the surprise party, Kathleen had no idea why she had come.

“Fancy you dropping in today, on my birthday,” she said, to which Margaret replied, ‘I was just passing and saw the banners outside so I thought I would pop in’.

Kathleen was born in Marlow, the seventh of ten children, and married Charles Smart, a station manager on the railway, in 1934.

Together they had a daughter, Valerie.

After Charles died, Kathleen moved in with Valerie, and they both moved to Upper Beading in 2012 to be nearer to Kathleen’s granddaughter, Belinda, and her grandson Joshua, aged four.

Kathleen enjoys painting with watercolours, reading and was a keen horse rider until the age of 75.