‘Keep smiling’ says 100 year old

Birthday girl: Ann Wright, who lives at Elwick Grange Care Home, celebrates her birthday with her family. With Ann are, from left, daughter-in-law Pamela Gook, daughter Dorothy Wilson, son Frederick Gook,  and son-in-law Joe Wilson
Birthday girl: Ann Wright, who lives at Elwick Grange Care Home, celebrates her birthday with her family. With Ann are, from left, daughter-in-law Pamela Gook, daughter Dorothy Wilson, son Frederick Gook, and son-in-law Joe Wilson

A CENTENARIAN says the secret to ageing well is to “keep smiling”.

Ann Wright turned 100 yesterday with a card from the Queen and from Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

And when the Hartlepool great-great grandma opened the Government message, she joked: “Are they increasing my pension?”

Ann was surrounded by family at Elwick Grange care home, in Elwick Road, as she marked her milestone with a party.

She said: “I had a lovely day and I was very pleased to get my cards.

“The secret to old age is to keep smiling.”

Ann, who lived in West View Road and whose family used to fish off the Headland, worked until she was 72 in a range of places including factories, schools, shops and in a cafe during the Second World War.

She married twice, first to Frederick Gook and then to George Wright.

War hero Frederick died aged just 37 from a heart attack and George died aged 56 only a few years after marrying Ann due to injuries he had suffered in the war.

Ann is mum to Frederick Gook, 78, Dorothy Wilson, 77, Ann Marshall and Millicent Harrower, who lives in Durban, South Africa.

She is also a grandma to nine, great grandma to 14 and a great-great grandma of five.

Jackie Bartle, manager of the home, said: “Ann has been here since January and has settled in really well.

“She’s amazing for 100 and is a pleasure to know. It’s a fantastic achievement.”