A cuppa’s the secret to a long life says May, 105

May Bagshaw celebrating her 105th birthday at Joan Wake Close, Market Deeping.  'Photo: MSMP030513-032ow
May Bagshaw celebrating her 105th birthday at Joan Wake Close, Market Deeping. 'Photo: MSMP030513-032ow

A woman who says a secret to a long life is sweets and cups of tea has celebrated her 105th birthday with friends and family.

May Bagshaw, who received her second card from the Queen, walked into the communal room at the Joan Wake Close sheltered housing complex in Market Deeping to a chorus of Happy Birthday.

She was greeted by residents and three generations of her family gathered to celebrate.

A smiling May, with her hair and nails done specially for the day, said the secret to her long life was walking every day, lots of tea and lots of Quality Street, her favourite sweets.

Her granddaughter Caroline Clifton said: “Granny loves a cup of tea. She calls it ‘a cup of cheer’ because it makes her happy and is relaxing.

“She is a very kind lady 
and I think this keeps her going.”

Granddaughter Emma Lannigan said: “She is a complete inspiration.

“The only thing that changes each year are the numbers on the cake which keep getting higher and higher.

“This is a special day but we all live locally and have always spent our birthdays and Christmases with her as a family.”

May moved to Market Deeping from Sheffield in 2000 to be closer to her family.

When she arrived in the area she joined the Methodist Church in Deeping St James where she was a regular visitor into her late 90s.

While May no longer visits the church she still has a thirst for life. Recently she was fascinated when she was shown how to use an iPhone by her great grandson Alfie, eight.

Support worker Lily Simpson, who helps care for May, said: “It is a major achievement to get to this age. She just keeps on going. When I spoke to her this morning she was ecstatic.”

In 2005 May officially opened the communal room where she celebrated her birthday as the oldest resident.