Money, fame and friends, rather than variety, may be the “spice of life” for some people but not for Lottie “Rene” Lacey of Pinchbeck who turned 100 on Sunday.
Not even a card from the Queen, a room full of balloons and a family party at her son’s home in Pinchbeck were the answer to the age-old question put to Lottie by her daughter Jane Marriott.
We had a lovely time at Mum’s birthday party, with 28 of us together and spending a lot of time with herJane Marriott, daughter of Lottie “Rene” Lacey
“I asked Mum what her secret was to living for so long and she said ‘contentment’, Jane said.
“Mum is very content, she’s never craved anything and she doesn’t want for anything - except that she always wanted to go up in a plane.
“That was the case up until about two years ago when my sister-in-law bought Mum a flying lesson which she thoroughly enjoyed.
“Mum went up in the plane with my sister-in-law and her children which she enjoyed.”
Lottie was born in March 1916 at a time when George V was King, Herbert Asquith was Prime Minister and former Prime Minister Harold Wilson was born.
Although she was born in Barton-upon-Humber, across the river from Hull, Lottie spent some of her teenage years in Spalding due to her father being a village policeman with what used to be called Lincolnshire Constabulary.
Jane said: “The family travelled around a bit, through various villages, until she came to Spalding in her mid-teens.
“Mum married my dad, Charles Lacey, in 1947 and they had a bulb growing business together, so she spent a lot of her working life in the nursery with Dad.”
Lottie’s husband passed away in 1981 but she was still able to share her landmark day with her three children, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, including memories of her trip on a plane.
Jane said: “When she was 97 or 98, Mum had a flying lesson because she had always wanted to go up in an aeroplane and also watch the Red Arrows.
“So she went up in a plane from Holbeach St Johns aAirfield (Fenland Aero Club) and it went very quickly, but it’s something she still talks about now.
“We had a lovely time at Mum’s birthday party, with 28 of us together to spened a lot of time with her.
“It was nice to get together as a family and we gave her A Day to Remember newspaper, with news that was published on her birthday.”