A COUPLE of glasses of advocaat and some sweets will be enjoyed by one of Croydon's oldest residents when she celebrates her 105th birthday.
Ethel Howard is due to reach the grand old age at Acacia Care Centre, in Chalfont Road, South Norwood, on Sunday.
A drop of advocaat liqueur was her choice of tipple last year, the drink she says is one of the secrets of her good health.
Describing his nan, Dene Norman, 35, said: "She's lovely and sweet. She's outgoing and still has all her marbles, although her hearing isn't as good as it used to be.
"We are all really proud."
Ethel will be joined by her family to mark her big day, which includes two children, five grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
Born in South Croydon in 1907, she has lived in the borough all her life, except for a year during the Second World War when she was evacuated to Yorkshire.
She met her husband John watching him playing darts, but tragically, he died during the war at Monte Cassino, Italy.
Dene said: "She smoked when she was younger but she nearly set the dog alight and that's what made her stop.
"I think she had a fag in her hand and caught the dog.
"She used to dance a lot in Streatham. She always walked to the shops in New Addington where she lived with her daughter Maureen in Bygrove and had a cleaning job along Spout Hill which she also walked to."
Ethel lived in Dering Road, South Croydon, until a hip operation in 2008 made it difficult for her to walk.
Aged 101 she moved to Acacia Lodge, in Stanhope Road, East Croydon, before moving to the care centre in South Norwood.