An inspirational woman is still proud of living in Lincolnshire at the amazing age of 107 - and this week she said it with a poem on her birthday.
Sprightly Gladys Waite, who now lives at Westcotes Care Home, was joined by the Mayor of Skegness Coun Sid Dennis on Friday, ahead of a family meal at the Windmill Restaurant in Burgh-le-Marsh today (Saturday) - the town where she and her late husband farmed for many years.
The music lover, who says she was taught music by her mother as she learned her ABC, had earlier received a birthday card from the Queen was also entertained by Skegness Silver Band.
Born in Bratoft two years before the start of the First World War, her family moved to a farm in Sloothby in 1917 where her parents, Charles and Alice Garlant, had a smallholding. She said: “I never imagined I’d be a farmer’s wife but, of course, I was.”
She and her husband had six children while farming in Burgh-le-Marsh, with one of her four daughters going on to become one of the first McMillan nurses.
Her love of music is the first thing Gladys wants to talk about even now, having twice played the piano on the Embassy stage in Skegness,
However, being in the spotlight is nothing new as she was invited to officially open the Burgh bypass in 2007, having been president of the WI and involved in other organisations in Burgh, as well as the first warden of Dobson Court.
She recalls it still came as a surprise when she was asked to the opening, saying: "They picked me up in a limousine and I borrowed a hat from a friend, who told me ‘don’t buy one, I have one.
Now she continues to enjoy visits to the home by Skegness Silver Band. "My eyes may have gone but I still love having conversations and music," she says.
Preferring a cuppa to wine while chatting to the Mayor, she recited a poem she had written about being a Lincolnshire Yellowbelly. Coun Dennis said: "I have never met anyone like her. She is amazing for 107 - an inspiration to us all."
Sarah Barrow,, manager at the home, said: "Gladys is a joy to look after. She wakes up with a smile on her face and goes to sleep with a smile on her face. I have never known her to be sick all the time I have been here. We love her to bits."
We asked Gladys what her secret was. "Just good food and a simple life," she said.
Her son, Alan - who lives in Willoughby and is also a good age at 85 - had another idea. He said: "She's incredible isn't she? Every night she has a tot of brandy before she goes to bed - she looks forward to it."
*We also visited Gladys when she was 105 and videoed the poem she had written about Lincolnshire that she recited once again on her birthday for the Mayor of Skegness and family and friends.