A FORMER nurse who recently celebrated turning 100 has put her longevity down to hard work, good food and clean living.

Grace Smallridge celebrated reaching the milestone, on April 16, at a small party with family and friends at Cedars Rest Home, Bowdon, where she now lives.

Grace, who has lived around the Hale, Bowdon and Sale areas for the past 40 years, met her husband, Aubrey, while working as a nurse in London.

Aubrey, who lost a leg during the Second World War, was a patient in the London hospital and quickly fell in love with Grace, according to their son Michael.

“Nurses used to wear those big old watches on the front of their uniforms in those days and he used to say that he’d know when she was coming because it would tick so loudly,” said Michael, who is 65.

“Before he left the ward he bought her a tiny, beautiful little wrist watch – which she still has and I suppose that was when they started courting.”

Aubrey died in the 1980s and Michael’s elder brother, Edward, died nine years ago, but Grace’s determination to keep going is a tribute to his mother, according to Michael.

“It’s very hard to describe her, she’s determined and strong and I think that’s how she’s reached 100.

“She’s very kind, thoughtful, caring and a lovely lady really.”

Grace has also worked as a hairdresser and even a driver during the war and puts her longevity down to her healthy lifestyle.

She also has six children and six great-grandchildren.