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Home Canterbury News Article
Beaming Lydia Woods sits back and smiles as she celebrates turning 100, with her golf-playing older brother.
The mother-of-two enjoyed a party to celebrate the landmark at Highland House in Littlebourne Road... and was joined by 101-year-old Alf Mann.
The remarkable siblings come from a family of nine brothers and sisters, with the three others surviving into their 80s and 90s.
Lydia was born in Woolwich, south east London, endured the hardships that were common for families at the time.
She puts her tough constitution down to her upbringing and a diet of vegetables.
She said: “I never liked meat very much and had an allotment so grew all my own vegetables which I loved and I think they have kept me going.
“When I was at school, I was told I couldn’t do any sport because I had a heart murmur, but now I’m catching my brother up.”
Alf, who still lives in his own bungalow in Croydon and plays golf every week, said: “It was a hard life back then, but I think it toughened us up.”
Lydia had two children with husband Wilf, who died in 1986.
“Mum doesn’t normally like a fuss but she really enjoyed having the family all together and getting a card from the Queen" - Lydia's daughter Jenny Spensley
She moved to the care home in 2011 after breaking her hips in two falls.
Daughter Jenny Spensley said: “Mum was a homemaker who enjoyed knitting and crochet and her garden. She has always been active and was even doing yoga when she was 80.
“She came to live with us first in Chestfield and then when we moved to Blean, but had to go into the home after separate falls in which she broke both hips. It just goes to show how tough she is to come back from that.
“Her brother Alf is quite remarkable for his age and still manages to play 10 holes of golf every week. It must be something in their genes.
“Mum doesn’t normally like a fuss but she really enjoyed having the family all together and getting a card from the Queen.”
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