Annie Eady has lived through two world wars and all the other momentous events of the 20th century.
She has also lived through some fairly monumental changes in her own personal life, one that forced her to put her four-year-old son in an orphanage where she saw him for just half an hour a day.
Despite a life that brought its hardships, Annie, of Church Street , Spalding, reached her 100th birthday on Thursday.
It was celebrated with a small party with her son John Pont and his wife Lorraine, as well as John’s son Kris and his children Harvey and Evie and Lorraine’s son Jason and his girlfriend Tara.
Annie was born into the Hemmant family at Moulton Chapel, her father a well-known carpenter and undertaker.
She was one of three girls – her sister Doreen has died and Alfreda still lives in Whaplode Drove.
She has few memories of growing up, but John says the war years were not too hard for the family.
He says: “Grandad was able to source wood and did jobs for farmers and if you didn’t get paid in cash you got paid in kind, so they were able to live quite well.”
After finishing school in Moulton Chapel aged 14, Annie went to work as a maid for a local family of farmers, helping to churn butter and other menial work for almost ten years.
One day it all proved too much and she walked out of the job. After that, she helped her mother at home until she met and married her first husband, Lesley Pont, who had served in the war and been at Dunkirk.
John picks up the story: “I was born in 1947 and in 1951 he died in a motorbike crash in Moulton Chapel.
“Annie had an aunty who lived down south who got her a job at a nearby orphanage and I went into the orphanage.
“She used to see me for half an hour each night and in the holidays I went to stay with Alfreda.
“I don’t remember the early bit, but it was harsh. One of the guys in charge was an ex-sergeant major and he treated us the same as the squaddies.
“I was there for eight-and-a-half years until I was 13.”
At that point Annie was advised to return to Lincolnshire with John for the sake of his health as he suffered with asthma.
Annie, who has three grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and one great great grandchild, then married Frank Eady, who died in 1996.