A 103-year-old great-grandmother who lived through both world wars has attributed her longevity to having an active mind.
Eveline Dixon, known to friends as Micky, celebrated the extraordinary milestone with family and friends at a special birthday lunch in Sudbury on Monday.
Mrs Dixon, who has outlived all her immediate family, was born in 1915 and grew up in Liverpool, with her brother and two sisters.
At the age of 16, she went to live with her aunt following the death of her mother – an event that encouraged her to become independent.
“I virtually looked after myself,” she recalls.
She met her husband, Peter, at an ice skating rink in Liverpool, when they were both 24.
She recalls seeing him at the venue and got to know him after he knocked her over on the rink.
“I swore at him,” she says. “I used to see him skating round like a mad man.”
Five months later, the pair became engaged and were married on Easter Monday in 1940.
The couple soon moved to Coningsby, in Lincolnshire, where Peter was assigned to the Air Force during the Second World War.
At the end of the conflict, they moved to Banbury, in Oxford, and had two daughters, Diana and Lynn.
The couple would go on to travel around the world, including New Zealand, Australia and the United States.
They moved to Costa Blanca for 12 years and, although Mrs Dixon enjoyed the experience, she missed the UK.
“I saw things I wouldn’t have seen if I hadn’t have met my husband,” said Mrs Dixon, whose husband died in 1991, aged 85.
“He looked after me all my life – he was a wonderful man.”
Mrs Dixon later moved to Cavendish to live with her daughter, Diana.
After nine years, she moved to Melford Court Care Home, where she has been a resident for the last five years.
Mrs Dixon, who lost both of her daughters to cancer, has five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
She attributes her extraordinary age to her active mind and independence from a young age.