Hemingford woman turns 100 (or 25) on February 29

KATHLEEN Adams, a great-grandmother from Hemingford Grey is 100-years-old today (February 29) but it will only be the 25th time she has been able to celebrate on her birthday.

Mrs Adams, who was born in 1912, said: “I never really celebrated birthdays – but if I did it was usually on the 28th.”

This year was a bit different as Mrs Adams’ family organised a party on Saturday (February 25) at the The Windmill pub in Somersham, which was attended by her four grandchildren and both great-grandchildren as well as relatives from Canada.

And there was to be an open house today, allowing close friends to join the celebrations.

Mrs Adams was born in Shepreth, Cambridgeshire – the youngest of five children – where her family lived on a farm.

“In those days our family used to kill a pig to eat – very different from today,” she said. “My father used to cure the meat by hanging it on meat hooks up the chimney – it was delicious.”

Mrs Adams met husband Frank, whom she described as a “handsome young man”, when the two were swimming in the River Great Ouse as teenagers. They were married on August 4, 1940, and two years later eldest daughter Mary was born.

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After the war, the family took holidays wherever and whenever they could afford, and according to youngest daughter Ruth Poulton, 67, it was this sense of adventure which added to her mother’s longevity.

“Mum’s always had such a positive attitude and sense of adventure – she’s game for anything,” Ms Poulton said.

Mrs Adams moved to Hemingford Grey from the village of Elsworth 30 years ago. Sadly her husband of 67 years died in October 2008.

Her advice for those 25-year-olds out there who are planning to turn 100 is simple: embrace the outdoor life and a love of travelling.

“I have never let the grass grow under my feet,” she added.