CLEAN living could be the secret to a long life as an east Durham woman celebrates a milestone birthday.
Staying single, never smoking and only having the occasional tipple is Margaret Harper’s secret to a long and happy life as she celebrates her 100th birthday.
Margaret was born in Sherburn. She was one of thirteen children and was just six-months-old when the family moved to Station Road in Easington from Sherburn after her father James got a job as a coal hewer at the newly sunk colliery. Her mother Elizabeth Rebecca Harper died when Margaret was only eight-years-old.
Margaret eventually trained as a nurse and left the North-East for north London Highgate Hospital, which is now Whittington Hospital, where she worked as a nurse from 1933 until 1966 and finished her career as a matron.
Margaret has had little time for hobbies in her busy life, but used to enjoy going to the theatre.
Her claim to fame is dancing with actor Peter Sellers who came to the hospital to present prizes to the newly qualified nurses.
She said: “I had my picture taken with Peter and I’ve still got it somewhere.”
The chairman of Durham County Council, Coun Dennis Morgan and his wife Lynda were surprise visitors to see Margaret who they presented with a card and a basket of flowers.
Coun Morgan said: “Margaret is a wonderful lady and it has been a pleasure to spend some time with her on her very special birthday.”