Laptop and tiara for Worthing woman’s 100th birthday

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IT HAS been one big party for a 100-year-old Worthing woman who has put her long life down to hard work and laughter.

Miriam Venables, known as Babs, celebrated her 100th birthday with family at a big party at the Beechwood Hall Hotel before having a tea party at home in Victoria Road with friends and mayor Ann Sayers.

The lively woman described her two-day party as “wonderful” and said she was overjoyed with her presents, which included a laptop, a tiara and a ring.

She said: “I could not have wished for anything better. It has been marvellous.

“I have got a florist in my flat with all the beautiful flowers.”

The great-great-grandma said her long life was down to hard work and a good sense of humour, adding: “I have got a lovely family who are young and keep me young. My sense of humour keeps me going.”

The Nintendo DS- playing centenarian has had a varied and full life, running a fish and chip shop with her first husband, William, before starting up her own catering business.

However, it is a miracle she has managed to reach her special birthday after a near-death experience during the Second World War.

During the war, her home in London was bombed, killing her parents instantly, injuring her husband and daughter Jean, and leaving Babs in hospital for six months.

Grand-daughter Lesley Foster, 56, of Bramber, said: “I think nan has got a strong determination. If she does not feel well she will keep going and bully herself.”

Mrs Sayers described Babs as “remarkable”, adding: “It puts some of us to shame.”