A century of reading and music

A Eastbourne woman who still lives independently and enjoys clothes shopping three times a week has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Harriet Collins was born in Gravesend on September 28 1918, opposite the Tillbury Docks.

She married Arthur Collins in 1939 and they had five children. Harriet was in service at the age of 14 and when she married Arthur, they were both herdsmen at Bullock Down Farm, Beachy Head, where they didn’t retire until they were in their 70s. Her husband passed away in 2008.

She now lives alone in a flat where she is an avid reader and enjoys listening to Irish music. She also goes out shopping at least three times a week and loves buying clothes.

She has 13 grandchildren, 31 great grand children and seven great, great grandchildren.

To celebrate she enjoyed a meal at The Ship in Meads where she sang and recited poetry. The next evening there was a party at Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club which was attended by more than 80 people including the Mayor of Eastbourne.

She puts her longevity down to not smoking or drinking and walking miles in the fresh air.