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102-year-old of Chesnuts Care Home says Nivea cream is the key to her long life and youthful looks

The secret to eternal youth has puzzled many people over the years, but few have put it down to short socks and Nivea but Dora Butcher knows what she’s talking about, because she is just about to clock up her 102nd birthday.

The mother of two – who has six grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren – is the middle child of five and the last of her generation.

Dora either has her head in a book at the Chesnuts Care Home, in Wrotham Road, Meopham, or can be heard bellowing her favourite tune, the 1892 music hall and vaudeville song by Albert Chevalier, My Old Dutch.

Dora gets through at least three books a week.
Dora gets through at least three books a week.

She gets through three books a week and is currently reading Anne Holt, Fear Not as well as a biography of Neville Chamberlain. Her favourite genre, however, is romance.

Dora said: “I burst into song at the drop of a hat. I’ve been here for seven years now and it doesn’t seem a day too much.”

Chesnuts long-serving entertainer also served a long working life as a secretary and was evacuated from London during the war.

‘what a grand old lady, a lady with a smile for everyone’ - Roger, son

She recalls her first memory, aged two, crying from her cot and seeing the Zeppelin falling onto crowds of people.

Dora grew up in West Ham, London, where she met her husband Ralph. He served as a soldier in the Second World War and the pair were married in 1945.

They lived in Norfolk until Ralph passed away in 2003 and when Dora turned 95 she moved to Kent.

Her son Roger – who has worked as a teacher in Gravesend since the 1960s – decided to move her closer to his home.

He visits at least once a week and is planning a small family party for her birthday on Wednesday, August 31.

The secret to her youthful looks.
The secret to her youthful looks.

Dora’s other son no longer lives in the area but travels down for celebrations and family get-togethers.

Roger, 69, said: “We do what we can to keep her smiling. Everyone always says ‘what a grand old lady, a lady with a smile for everyone’.”

She said: “I am so very proud of my son for everything that he does for me, he takes care of me, my accounts, my family. I’m just so proud.”

The soon to be 102-year-old puts her youthfulness down to wearing short socks and applying Nivea. In fact, she swears by the cream, making sure the classic tin is always by her side and has done so since she was in her 20s.

“I’ve been using it for years, it’s the key,” she said. “Everyone always asks about my complexion, and I tell them, it’s the Nivea.”

A spokeswoman from Nivea said: “It’s no surprise that this lady is such a fan of Nivea Creme. The iconic cream intensely moisturises, leaving skin feeling hydrated and smooth.”

As for the socks, well, Dora just likes them and thinks it has been a key player in her long life.

And at 102, you can’t argue with that.

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