Five generations of family gather in Blofield to mark Ivy’s special birthday
09:59 10 February 2014
It was a very special Sunday for great-great-grandmother Ivy Ryan as she gathered with five generations of her family to mark her 100th birthday.
The lifetime Norfolk resident was showered with gifts and cards – including best wishes from the Queen – as she celebrated her milestone year at home in Blofield.
She was joined by friends and family from across all five generations, including her only grandson Tim, 52, who travelled from New Zealand to celebrate Christmas in Norfolk, and stayed on to toast her special day.
Mrs Ryan, one of eight children, was born on February 9, 1914, in Hemblington.
She lived in Ranworth and South Walsham, where she raised her family, before moving to Westview Road in Belton.
The mother-of-two had various jobs before she retired, including working in a pub and as a currant picker, and said she did “anything that would earn a shilling”.
The centenarian also worked for several years at the Mackintosh sweet factory in Norwich.
Asked what the secret to a long life was, she replied: “Hard work, a good husband and home and a good family.”
Mrs Ryan is also well known for enjoying a drop of whiskey every night, like her mother and father did before her.
She married her late husband George in Hemblington in 1936 and had two sons, Stanley and David. And she is now a proud grandmother-of-five, great-grandmother-of-eight and great-great-grandmother-of-one, and was surrounded by a gathering of smiling family members throughout her celebration yesterday.
“It’s nice to have the family. It’s a little bit much,” she joked. “But I’m enjoying them.”
Mrs Ryan said she was pleased to receive a card from the Queen, as well as one from the Houses of Parliament, but said being 100 felt “no different” to 99.
Stanley, 75, from Caister, said: “It’s been great, it really has been nice to see everybody and we’re pleased we’re able to do it.
“Mum’s the only one in her family to reach 100.”
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