The Primrose is said to symbolise both spring and Easter, so what better time of year for one Preston lady to celebrate her 103rd birthday.
Annie Primrose Smith, who is known to all by her middle name, was born on Primrose Day, April 19, in 1911, and marked the occasion of her 103rd birthday in style at The Gibbon Bridge Hotel on Easter Saturday.
Family and friends, including her daughter Millie, a former headteacher at Lea Endowed CE School, who helps to care for Primrose, gathered to enjoy lunch with on a glorious sunny day.
Millie said: “Her sense of humour is remarkable. She has a positive outlook and still lives in her own home.
“Mother absolutely loved her lunch at The Gibbon Bridge, so much so she polished off all three courses, she normally doesn’t eat that much at home!”
The seventh child of a family of 10 children, Primrose lived on a dairy farm in Greavestown, near Lea in Preston, and later moved to Ashton.
Primrose married garage owner John Bourn Smith when she was 27, and still lives in the same house in Fulwood she moved to in 1938 as a newly-wed.
One particular highlight of Primrose’s birthday was to receive a surprise floral arrangement from 92-year-old Edna Mairs, a former Land Army girl who was billeted with Primrose and her husband during the Second World War.
Millie said: “The pair haven’t seen each other for 30 or 40 years but it was after Edna saw Primrose’s photograph in the Lancashire Evening Post that Edna sent this surprise gift.
“It is really lovely that these two friends have reconnected.”
Despite being widowed and outliving her three sons and all her siblings bar one sister, a sharp wit and keen sense of humour are, Primrose says, the key to a long and happy life, along with keeping fit and agile through walking her dogs.
She also enjoys watching TV, especially documentaries and gardening programmes.
Millie said: “She is certainly a one-off but it seems there are a growing number of people reaching a ripe old age.
“To reach 103 years old is absolutely tremendous.”