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Essex: ‘Amazing’ Ethel celebrates her 110th birthday

PUBLISHED: 09:15 18 January 2011

Ethel Wood

Ethel Wood

Archant

SHE’S one of the UK’s oldest people and among the last dozen or so Victorians still alive.

Remarkable Ethel Wood yesterday toasted her 110th birthday by claiming her secret for a long life was 
simply not to think about it!

Miss Wood, who was born just eight days before Queen Victoria died, celebrated her milestone with friends at her home in Kirby-le-Soken, near Frinton on Sea.

She has outlived all of her four siblings – Winifred, Edith, Catherine and William – who, like her, did not have any children.

She is thought to be 
the 11th oldest person in the UK.

She moved to Essex around 20 years ago to care for her sister Edith.

When asked the secret behind her longevity, Miss Wood said: “I don’t think about it. It comes along a day at a time – everybody’s life is like that.”

The former primary school teacher is temporarily living at Anna Victoria Nursing Home, in Frinton, while she recovers from a broken leg, following a fall just before Christmas.

But she was back at her home in Briarfields to enjoy tea and cake with well-wishers.

“I think it’s amazing,” said councillor Robert Bucke, mayor of Frinton and Walton, and a longtime friend of Miss Wood.

“Ethel is the best example of growing old and staying alive mentally, not just physically.

“She is a true role model in the terms of living life to the full.”

Sylvia Smith, of Walton Road, Kirby-le-Soken, who has been friends with Miss Wood for 15 years, said: “She’s the exception to the rule.

“It’s certainly an achievement to get to 110, but she’s not what you’d call an old lady.

“She never looks to go backwards in time, unless you ask her to.”

Miss Wood – who never married – grew up in Guernsey before moving to England to become a primary school teacher, taking classes in Devon and London.

The oldest person alive in Britain is thought to be Margaret Fish, 111, from Wilstead, in Bedfordshire.

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As thousands of fundraisers get underway for Red Nose Day today, Comic Relief has unveiled a pot of £60,000 to help benefit good causes in Suffolk and north Essex this year.

Patrick Casey, 13, who is from the Frinton-on-Sea area in north-east Essex, has been reported as missing to police.

Shopping in Ipswich is to get a welcome boost over the next few months as new stores open in the town centre.

The leisure centre in Crown Street was closed for around an hour this morning after police were called to reports of two men behaving suspiciously inside.

What are you doing for Red Nose Day tomorrow? See here to send in your stories and photos.

A message on Holbrook Academy’s website tonight said Anglian Water engineers will be working through the night to repair a burst water main which closed the school today.

The male model, who was crowned winner of The Great Pottery Throw Down on BBC Two tonight, has also revealed his love of clay was sparked by a Tinder date.

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