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At 102, Elsie is simply fantastic

PUBLISHED: 17:45 26 May 2010 | UPDATED: 10:27 12 August 2010

BIG DAY: Elsie Louise Nicholls with daughter Jean and son-in-law John Harvey.

BIG DAY: Elsie Louise Nicholls with daughter Jean and son-in-law John Harvey.

ONE of the borough's oldest residents has celebrated an impressive milestone.

ONE of the borough's oldest residents has celebrated an impressive milestone.

Elsie Louise Nicholls turned 102 last Thursday at Benedict House care home, in Copers Cope Road, Beckenham.

The great-grandmother, who still enjoys writing and reading her own poetry, was joined by family and friends to mark the important day.

Mrs Nicholl's only daughter, Jean Harvey, 77, of the Glade, Bromley, said: "Although she's 102, she still lays down the law!

"She is always very charming when there are guests around, and still writes and reads her poetry to whoever will listen."

Mrs Nicholls, who was born one of seven children in Maidstone in 1908, has two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, who all live in Kent.

She is the eldest resident of her nursing home in living memory, and is believed to be one of the oldest residents of Bromley. After going into service after school, she married Gerald, a carpenter, in Throwley Village Church, near Faversham, in 1931.

They settled in the Faversham area and during World War II Elsie contributed to the war effort by picking fruit as part of the land army.

Moving to Bromley after Gerald died in the late 1980s to be closer to daughter Jean, Mrs Nicholls then moved into Benedict House in February for the extra care it is able to provide.

Senior clinician at the home, Angela Pinder, said: "Elsie is very gentle and caring, and enjoys singing hymns and telling stories. She is a lovely lady.

"She is always smartly dressed, and has her hair done every week."

Mrs Harvey says the secret to her mother's longevity is her straightforward way of life and having everything in moderation.

She said: "She has never smoked, and only has the odd drink. The key could be her simple lifestyle and a plain diet.

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