16:33 Friday 06 December 2013

'It's all in the genes', says Eva, who prepares to turn 106

Written byMARK MCKAY

06/12/13 106 year oldEva Bird - 106 Years old at Seale Pastures Residential Home in Accresford.Jo Leawood, Jeanette Locker, Diane Leary, Eva Bird, Louise Bell, Laura Stone, Zoe Barbour 06/12/13 106 year oldEva Bird - 106 Years old at Seale Pastures Residential Home in Accresford.Jo Leawood, Jeanette Locker, Diane Leary, Eva Bird, Louise Bell, Laura Stone, Zoe Barbour

THE secret to living to celebrate your 106th birthday is to have good genetics, said Eva Bird, who will celebrate her special day tomorrow.

Great-grandmother Eva, who is the youngest of seven children, may have a point as her brother Bill lived to be 103 and sisters Girty, Florence and Ethel lived into their 90s.

“I think it’s in the genes,” said Eva, who lives at Seal Pastures House care home, in Acresford.

When Eva was born in 1907, Edwards VII was on the throne, the Titanic only existed on the drawing board and Britain was gearing up for 1908 Olympic Games.

When asked if there was anything she wanted for her birthday, apart from a telegram from the Queen, Eva said: “I need some new teeth, but I don’t think I’ll bother at this time of life.”

“I have been around for years and years.

“I’m not one for making speeches and I’m not one for falling out with other people.

“The doctor says I must have looked after myself.”

Eva grew up in Highfields Street, Coalville before finding work as a rubber winder and then as a knitter in textile factories in Leicester in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

She met her husband Thomas at the Coalville Liberal Club before the lovebirds tied the knot during the Second World War in 1942.

Eva became a step-mother to Thomas’ son, also called Thomas, now 80, who now lives in Hilary Crescent, Whitwick, with his wife Sheila.

Sheila, 82, told the Mail: “She has had a good life.

“I think the secret to reaching that age is to do everything in moderation.”

Eva, who is also grandmother to Judith, 52, and great-grandmother to Alice, 25, and Peter, 22, will celebrate her special with her family at the care home.

Eva will celebrate her special day with a party at the care home with her family and staff.

The care home’s manager Diane Leary said: “She gets on with all the staff and the others – you can always hear her chatting away.”

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