'˜Incredible' Marjorie from Haywards Heath celebrates turning 108

A good diet, exercise and great friends are the key ingredients in making it to 108 years old, according to Marjorie Kinne.

Marjorie Kinne turned 108 yesterday (August 1). Picture: Steve Robards
Marjorie Kinne turned 108 yesterday (August 1). Picture: Steve Robards

She said when she turned 100, she never dreamt she would go on for another eight years.

But now at 108 she still walks to the shops, goes to church and does the crossword in the i newspaper everyday. And she ‘has a better social life than most of us’.

The 108-year-old who was dressed elegantly and looked years younger said she felt ‘blessed’ on her birthday yesterday (August 1).

Marjorie celebrating her birthday with her family and friends at Joan Nightingale House in Haywards Heath. Picture: Steve Robards

She was surrounded by family and friends at Joan Nightingale House in Haywards Heath – the sheltered housing where she lives.

She told the Middy: “I feel a bit overwhelmed. I feel very happy, I am very fortunate, I think I have been blessed.

“It is marvellous to have everybody here today. Reaching 100 – that was wonderful, I never dreamt I would go on another eight years.”

Asking Marjorie what her secret was she said: “I have always watched my diet and I have always exercised. And I have got some great friends who have helped me survive. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Marjorie said she has had a ‘fulfilling life’. She had a ‘very happy marriage’ to her late husband Cecil, who died in his 80s.

Asking her what the secret was to a happy marriage she chuckled: “Find someone who can put up with you.”

Marjorie was born in Tunbridge Wells in Kent, and moved over to Haywards Heath when her husband Cecil retired.

The couple had three daughters; Myra, now aged 83, Cecile, 81, and Denise, 78. They had six grandchildren, who are in their 50s, and nine great-grandchildren.

Having lived through two world wars she still remembers the soldiers marching past the house she was in during the First World War.

Her son-in-law David Neilson, 82, said: “She is amazing. She does the crossword in the i newspaper everyday. I used to think that it was the quality scotch whisky she liked to have!

“But really it is the fact that she is still interested. She has always been very into politics and current affairs. She watches news programmes.

“She is also conscious of her appearance, she is impeccably dressed every day.

“She has always walked, she has always been conscious of her diet. She smoked at one point but stopped. The key is everything in moderation!”

Marjorie’s granddaughter Claire Barnes, 57, said her nanna was always told by her grandmother to eat the vegetables first on her plate. “She has always been conscious about eating healthy,” she said.

“Seeing her at 108 it makes me feel young! I never feel like I am getting old and think I have still got 50 years to sort my life out!

“She is very active, she goes to church and she goes shopping – she has a better social life than most of us! She has done a huge amount of travelling.”

Marjorie, who was born on August 1, 1910, worked in retail. Her first job was at a fish shop when she was 14, her family said.

At the birthday celebration she was joined by many friends. Among them was Dorothy Ryan, 84. She said: “She is incredible. She was walking from here to Natwest about a month ago, when I saw her I thought, on her own at 108, wow!”

Manager Linda Pither has looked after Marjorie at Joan Nightingale House for three years. She said: “It is amazing really, she is just so active and independent.

“She is one of two of our oldest tenants. Another lady is coming up 109, it is lovely to have both of them here. Marjorie is fantastic, she has a better social life than most of us!

“She is positive minded and we don’t really have to do much for her, she does everything herself!”

Oldest in Britain website says it is believed there are around 75 people in the country aged over 108.

Marjorie is among the oldest in the county.