A Burton preacher's wife has praised the Lord for her wonderful life and fantastic memories as she celebrates her 100th birthday.
Muriel Smith, of Stapenhill, was born in Stoke-on-Trent on September 6, 1917. The oldest of four, Muriel dreamed of raising her own family and using her time to help others so, after leaving school, she spent her days working at Denstone College and going to church.
It was at a Sunday service where she met her husband John, a preacher, and the two quickly fell in love. The pair, who were married in Leek in 1937, shared a passion to help others and soon travelled around Burton and Derbyshire delivering support to those in need.
Muriel said: "My husband and I used to preach as well; we gave our time for free but we loved it. It took us to many places and it was wonderful to do it together."
The couple, who were married for 62 years, soon extended their family at their Wetmore Road home, welcoming daughter Joy, now 78, Colin, 67 and Derek who sadly died.
Muriel said: "John was such a good husband and we had a lovely marriage and a wonderful family I have had such a lot of good times in my life. I have been incredibly lucky." Sadly John died in 1999, he was 82.
Muriel, who has two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, said she has seen plenty of change in the last century and she is lucky to have been able to see her family grow.
She said: "I am very surprised I made it to 100 but there is no secret, as such. I don’t know anyone else that is 100 but the Lord has been good to me.
"I used to like reading and travelling all over. I even went to see and hear the Pope once which was amazing; it was just wonderful.
"I have many incredible memories. I even remember working for a lady who had a parrot a long time ago. Every time I rolled in it used to say "Come on Muriel, you are late".
Muriel will be celebrating the landmark occasion with 25 friends and family members at Langan’s Tea Rooms on Saturday, a much more sophisticated way than she celebrated her 90th - by enjoying a helicopter ride.
She said: "It was something that I always wanted to do and I was so happy when the family arranged it. I loved every minute."
Daughter Joy West, said that Muriel has been a lovely mother who has "always taken good care of herself" and she has gained a family member in Joy’s pet pooch Bailey.
She said: "She has always looked after her hair and her face and now I take care of her. She is still very independent, she has her own home and still likes to go out and about.
"Mum was the oldest of four but she has lasted the longest. I have learned so much from her and I am very proud. She is amazing. She loves to come around for a chat and a cuddle with Bailey who she calls her boy. We look after each other."