Balsham centenarian celebrates 100th with bubbly and flowers

Peggy Smart ANL-140418-095314001
Peggy Smart ANL-140418-095314001

Supermarket shoppers stopped to raise a toast to one of the store’s longest-serving customers.

Balsham pensioner Peggy Smart celebrated her 100th birthday on Thursday and has been shopping in the Newmarket branch of Waitrose with her four sisters, Vera Heath, 85 Constance Goult, 91 from Burrough Green and Sylvia Basham, 81, from Haverhill, for more than 30 years.

This week’s trip threw up a surprise for Mrs Smart, however, as Waitrose staff had prepared a champagne tea party for the sisters to mark Mrs Smart’s special milestone.

Family friend and customer service assistant at Waitrose, Diana Mills, arranged the treat with colleague Bernie Ripa.

Mrs Smart, who likes to have a flutter on the horses and worked in domestic service as a young woman, moved to Balsham from Newmarket five years ago, puts her longevity down to laughter and happiness, never moaning and three meals a day.

“I come from a long living family,” she said.

Mrs Heath, who also lives in Balsham, echoed her elder sister’s words: “When we first came to Balsham we got a bottle of cider and a big bag of crisps and we called that our rave up.”

The sisters, all now widows are the surviving four of eight siblings, seven boys and one other girl.

Mrs Mills said: “They come in and they laugh, they tell us jokes all the time.”