TWO women in Huntingdon have celebrated their 101st and 102nd birthdays. Ivy Benson, who lost two brothers in the First World War and drove ambulances during the Second World War, celebrated her 101st birthday on New Year s Day. Mrs Benson, from Hunte

Violet Perry who turned 102 last month

TWO women in Huntingdon have celebrated their 101st and 102nd birthdays.

Ivy Benson, who lost two brothers in the First World War and drove ambulances during the Second World War, celebrated her 101st birthday on New Year's Day.

Mrs Benson, from Hunters Down care home in Huntingdon, was born in Liverpool and lived independently until she was 97.

Ivy told The Hunts Post that her mother used to turn the front room of their family home into a shop to make some money to send Ivy to college. That paid off and she went to college and became a school teacher.

Ivy made all her own clothes and still alters them when she needs to. She also enjoys reading short stories, doing cross stitch and going shopping.

Despite smoking most of her life and still enjoying the occasional puff now and then, she says she has always had good health. She said: "I've had two eye operations and a hip operation but I've never really been ill."

Ivy, who has some 50 nieces and nephews and 30 great nieces and nephews, celebrated her birthday by enjoying a meal with her niece Linda Serjeant.

When asked the secret of a long and healthy life, she said: "I don't know, I didn't expect to live this long."

Violet Perry, also from Hunters Down care home, turned 102 on Saturday, December 16. Mrs Perry lived in a flat on her own until she was 100, then moved into a care home. She said: "I wanted to come to this home as I have lots of friends in the area who still visit me. The staff here are lovely and there is always a lot of laughter." She is a Londoner and was born in Camberwell in the south of the city. She also says she has never been ill.

She said: "I've had my hips done but other than that I have never been in hospital or even been to the doctor. I put that and living to the age of 102 down to luck.