A RUTLAND woman who is celebrating her 100th birthday says she believed hard work is the secret to a long life.
May Blockley, who lived in Preston, near Uppingham, for more than 50 years, celebrated her century with friends and family at Oak House care home in Greetham last Friday.
She was born in Alrewas, near Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, in 1911 and during the Second World War worked in the Women’s Land Army, for which she received a medal from the Queen in 2009.
One of 10 children, Mrs Blockley moved to Rutland not long after she met her second husband Geoff, in 1948, and has lived there ever since.
Speaking at her birthday party on Friday, she said: “I was a bit nervous for the party today with everyone coming over but it’s lovely to see them all here. I’ve had some very nice cards, and it was lovely to get one from the Queen.
“I think the secret to a long life is hard work – I’ve always done that and I’ve lived a good life. I’ve always tried to help people. I loved being in the Land Army, I was in it for ten years and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was fantastic to be helping my country.”
Mrs Blockley spent 30 years working as a chef for Pedigree Petfoods in Melton Mowbray. Her late husband Geoff, who died on the couple’s 48th wedding anniversary in 2009, was a farm worker with a keen passion for gardening, who regularly stole the show at the annual Preston Flower Show.
Mrs Blockley added: “I met Geoff in 1948 round a friend’s house. I don’t remember thinking he was especially handsome at first, but he was really nice and I liked that.
“I took to him straight away. He was a wonderful husband, and I still miss him.”
Coun Edward Baines, chairman of Rutland County Council, presented Mrs Blockley with a bouquet.
He said: “It’s a tremendous achievement. I have known her and her late husband for many years through their work with the Preston Flower Show, and it’s a privilege to be here on such a momentous occasion.”