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Want to live to 100? Eat your greens!

31 January, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

Gladys Smith celebrates with son Fred

THE secret to long life is never getting takeaways and eating “liver, heart, kidneys and vegetables” instead, a great-great-grandmother-of-two suggested as she reached 100 this week.

Scores of pensioners filled St Luke’s Community Centre in Clerkenwell to celebrate Gladys Smith’s special birthday on Monday.

The Mayor of Islington, Councillor Rakhia Ismail, also joined the party.

Ms Smith, who is the youngest of nine siblings, told the Tribune: “I can’t believe I am 100. All my family lived to over 90 but I have outdone them all and I was the baby of the family.”

She has lived in Islington her whole life except for when she had to be evacuated during the Second World War.

Ms Smith at her party with Islington Mayor Rakia Ismail

She grew up in Peerless Street but moved to Lever Street when she married her husband Fred Smith, who was posted with the RAF to Burma. He died in the 1990s.

She worked as a dinner lady at the old Compton Primary School.

Asked what her secret was, she said: “I just plodded along really. I am still trying my hardest to get out. I don’t want to get stuck indoors.”

She added: “I’m a good eater. Eating the same food we have always had, liver and bacon and the Sunday meal roast and I still do my dinners.”

Fred Smith, Ms Smith’s oldest son, said: “Mum has never smoked, drunk or taken drugs. She has never eaten a burger, Chinese or Indian food. She prefers liver, heart, kidneys and vegetables.”

He added: “We also add a splash of cider vinegar and a spoonful of honey to a glass of water every day. Try it!”

Ms Smith, who now lives in Central Street, joined the St Luke’s singing group, made up of pensioners in the Clerkenwell area, when she retired at 60.


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