Marie, 108, may well be our oldest

Kettering,   Marie Branson will be 108 on Friday 20th January. 'Marie is a resident of Gabriel Court, Broadway. 'Tuesday 17th January, 2012
Kettering, Marie Branson will be 108 on Friday 20th January. 'Marie is a resident of Gabriel Court, Broadway. 'Tuesday 17th January, 2012

Good British food is the secret which has helped a woman who is thought to be the county’s oldest resident live to such a ripe old age.

Marie Bramson, who can remember news breaking of the Titanic disaster, is celebrating her 108th birthday today with family and staff at Gabriel Court Residential Care Home in Kettering.

But when asked how it felt to reach the milestone, the great-grandmother said: “Awful – I’m getting old.”

Mrs Bramson, who has lived in Kettering for more than 20 years, said the secret behind her long life was her diet and parents.

She said: “I had very good parents and I’ve also eaten good British food. I especially enjoy a bowl of soup.”

Mrs Bramson was born in London in 1904 and started work at a women’s clothing shop at Liverpool Street railway station at the age of 14.

Paid five pennies a day, she would work 12 hour days serving customers skirts, stockings and jackets.

A few years later she would survive the perils of war when a bomb landed on her home during the Second World War.

She eventually retired at the age of 70 before moving to live near her granddaughter in Kettering.

Before moving to Gabriel Court, she lived at Harry Potter House in Kettering.

She has one daughter called Michele Yerrell, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She said: “I’ve always enjoyed life but worked hard.”

Care manager at the home Rose Wonfor said she believed Mrs Bramson was the oldest person in the county.

Although Mrs Bramson is deaf and partially blind, Mrs Wonfor said she was still mentally strong.

She said: “If I lived to be 108 I only hope that I would have as much strength as her.

“She is still able to look after herself, I’m really proud of her.”

It is believed Mrs Bramson became the oldest resident in the county following the death of Alice Simmons last August. Mrs Simmons, who lived in Abington in Northampton. was aged 108.

The UK’s oldest resident is Violet Wood, from Whitstable, who is aged 112.