Margaret celebrates turning the big 100

Margaret Hammill's 100th birthday. Photo courtesy of Alan Walters. EMN-150323-101808001
Margaret Hammill's 100th birthday. Photo courtesy of Alan Walters. EMN-150323-101808001

A woman from Rutland who celebrated turning 100 on Tuesday, has said that the secret to a long and happy life is a “glass of sherry in the morning and a glass of brandy at night”.

Margaret Hammill, from Empingham has still got a sense of humour, and turning 100 was just another day for the independent woman that still lives on her own and enjoys spending time with her loved ones.

To celebrate the milestone, Margaret’s close family organised a birthday party at Clifton’s Tearoom in Oakham, on Saturday, with over 30 members of Margaret’s family attending the do to wish her many happy returns on her special day.

Family from near and far attended the occasion, including two of Margaret’s granddaughters and their children, who had travelled over from Algeria and Johannesburg to be with their grandmother on the 

Over five generations of Margaret’s family were there on the day, including her two daughters Sally, 75 and Ann, 72, both from Rutland. Sadly her two sons, Richard and Sandy have now died.

Margaret’s daughter, Sally Harnett said: “It was a really good party, all of the family enjoyed the day. Margaret kept saying how happy she was to see everyone, including all of the little children. It was lovely.”

On Tuesday, the actual day of Margaret’s birthday, a second party was held at The Brambles Day Care Centre in Oakham, a place which Margaret attends three times a week.

At the centre they enjoyed a birthday lunch, followed by cake which they had made for Margaret. She was also presented with a huge bouquet of flowers.

On the day she also received her birthday card from the Queen, which she opened in front of all of her friends.

Sally said: “She was very pleased with the card and couldn’t wait to show everyone.”

Margaret, who is originally from Portsmouth has travelled all of her life, after meeting her late husband James who was in the Army. After meeting, the pair married in 1936 in Brighton and Margaret went on to bring up their four children during the Second World War.

She recounts how it was a scary time for her, having to travel across London with her four children to reach safety, whilst the bombings were taking place.

Margaret moved to Empingham over seven years ago and now lives on her own at Beckworth Court.

Sally said: “It’s fantastic that she still lives on her own at her age. Her heart is as strong as an ox and she still gets about very easily.

“One remarkable thing is that she still has her red hair - even at 100. Her hairdresser is amazed with how fabulous she looks.”

Along with the four children Margaret had with her husband James, she also has 11 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and five great great grandchildren.