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A drop of brandy helps birthday girl Hilda reach 105

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SHE enjoys a glass of brandy, loves a joke and, aged 105, might just be Croydon's oldest woman.

Hilda Brown will celebrate her birthday today (Friday) with a celebratory glass of her favourite tipple.

Grandson Derek Brown, 51, told the Advertiser: "She still enjoys a glass of brandy.

"I think I'll take a leaf out of her book but I'll have Scotch instead. It's a lovely age to have reached and a special landmark."

Great-great-grandmother Hilda is still as sharp as ever and the oldest resident at Clarendon Nursing Home, in Thornton Heath, where she moved to from nearby Cotford Road in June.

The birthday girl received a card from the Queen, her second correspondence with Her Majesty following a letter on her 100th birthday.

Revellers at her party tomorrow will include five generations of Hilda's family, with daughter Cherry Brown flying in from Florida especially for the event.

The party will be held at the nursing home, with residents also invited and a large cake is being made to feed Hilda's large visiting family.

The family have speculated as to whether she is Croydon's oldest resident but, what is sure, is that she is a full three years older than the second oldest resident at Clarendon.

"Things change every day – she might reach 110, or even older," Hilda's second daughter, Linette May Simms, 83, said.

Family members visit Hilda every day at the nursing home, where, as a keen singer, she will no doubt be joining in with songs to celebrate her 105th birthday.

Hilda first arrived in Britain from Jamaica in the 1950s with her husband Alexander. They had 11 children and many of them, and their respective children and grandchildren, come to visit regularly.

Derek added: "Gran is very popular in this home because she's a very positive person and she's passed this onto her offspring.

"Because she's sharp as a razor blade she has a laugh and a joke with the staff.

"People tend to sleep a lot at this age but she's not like that – she loves a laugh."

A drop of brandy helps birthday girl Hilda reach 105


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