Big party for Jessie’s 105th birthday

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Birthday cards and music were in order at The Bancroft Residential Home, Long Sutton, as Jessie Shortland celebrated her 105th birthday with family and friends.

Jessie, formerly of Sutton Bridge, was joined by her son Leslie and his wife Josie, grandchildren Michael and Helen and nephew Reg for an afternoon tea party on Wednesday.

Jessie is a very special lady and she is at a remarkable age.

Debra Richardson, The Bancroft Residential Home, Long Sutton

The celebrations had a theme of Putting on the Ritz, with music from Karl & Rita Mae who sang the wartime favourite We’ll Meet Again.

There was also a dance performance by Inca and Tallulah and a card from the Queen to mark Jessie’s birthday at The Bancroft where she has been a resident since 2011.

Debra Richardson, owner and manager of The Bancroft, said: “Jessie had a wonderful afternoon tea party for her 105th birthday which she deserved because she is a very special lady and she is at a remarkable age.”

Jessie was born in 1910 when George V succeeded Edward VII as King of England, Herbert Asquith was Prime Minister and the artist Francis Bacon was born in Dublin to English parents.

After leaving school as a teenager, Jessie signed up for National Service until she married her husband Ernest and went to live on a smallholding in Sutton Bridge.

Speaking on her 104th birthday last year, Leslie said: “I think they first met when they were both out shopping in Sutton Bridge and, as you do, you get talking.

“If you go shopping every week you probably see the same people if you go at the same time.”

After Ernest died in 1991, Jessie stayed in Sutton Bridge until she moved to The Bancroft four years ago.

Leslie said: “My mum has never smoked, had only the occasional drink and had always refused medication which could possibly explain how she has achieved this incredible age.

“Jessie has also never worried about what food is supposedly good or bad for you and about going on diets which could also have contributed to her good health.

“She’s always gone her own way which is perhaps why she’s lived for so long.”