So, what do you do when you are 107 years old?
Simple. You write a poem to help celebrate the 30th ‘birthday’ of your care home!
Gladys Waite was born in 1912 - the same year the Titanic sank, Roald Amundsen beat Captain Scott in the race to the South Pole, King George V was on the throne and Barnsley won the FA Cup.
She is the 79th oldest person alive today in the UK.
Nothing was going to stop her attending those birthday celebrations at the Tanglewood Care Home in Horncastle last Friday.
Gladys has always loved writing poetry and had a book of her poems published many years ago,
So, it was only natural she came up with this special poem...
‘Tanglewood for the tired and cold
We are well looked after kept out of the cold
The carers are kind and the food is very good
I don’t think we can improve it, if we should
At bedtime we go back to our cosy room
And wait patiently for morning to come
We have lots to do throughout the day
Knitting, painting and games to play
Out in the garden grow pretty flowers
There we can sit for hours and hours
The party to celebrate Tanglewood’s 30 years
So let us all raise a glass and say ‘cheers!’
Gladys ‘ memories go back to her childhood....around the start of the First World War.
She said: “I can remember doing something naughty at home and I ran up the street to a neighbour’s house - we called her ‘Granny Blakey’ - because I didn’t want my mother telling me off!”
Her father was a farmer and during WW1, Gladys can recall sitting alongside him on a pony and trap, taking produce to the local railway station.
When the train arrived, it was full of wounded soldiers returning from the battlefields of the Somme.
Gladys moved to Horncastle to get married.
She’s also lived in Skegness and Burgh le Marsh before moving to the Tanglewood
She explains: “Horncastle was a lot different then. I can remember the first house was by the old stocks.
“I’ve had a good life. I always liked living by the sea but it’s nice here. (Tanglewood).
“Everyone is so kind and friendly and they really look after you.
“I still see my family - one of my daughters (Iris) is here today.”
Becky Taylor, manager at Tanglewood, describes Gladys as a ‘lovely and remarkable lady.’
She added: “She joins in everything she can, and she certainly has some wonderful stories to tell.”
Friends and family will tell you the secret to Gladys’ long life is ‘good food’ - and a tot of brandy every night.
Meanwhile, she wasn’t the only person celebrating that 30th anniversary of Tanglewood first opening in Horncastle.
There were a series of presentations to long-serving staff.
Becky explained: “We present special commemorative medals - gold for 20-30 years, silver for 10-20 and bronze for 0-10.
“Our longest serving employee has been here 23 years.
“We’ve a lot of other staff members who have been here a long time. It’s like a big happy family and I can’t thank the staff enough.”