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Hard work and a positive nature the keys to Norwich centenarian’s longevity

PUBLISHED: 12:20 17 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:21 17 January 2014

Ellen Lincoln celebrates her 100th birthday at Hammond Court, Norwich.

Ellen Lincoln celebrates her 100th birthday at Hammond Court, Norwich.

Sprightly Ellen Lincoln knows exactly what it takes to reach the ripe old age of 100 – hard work and a smiling nature.

But after a lifetime of doing just that, she allowed herself a day off the hard work at least to celebrate her centenary with family, friends and a visit from the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Keith Driver.

Mrs Lincoln – who now only has peripheral vision in her left eye - still lives independently in self-supported housing provided by the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB) at its headquarters in Magpie Road, Norwich.

But despite her sight problems, she’s still upbeat about keeping that work ethic going.

“I’m determined to keep my independence as long as I possibly can,” she said.

“I hate to sit around and do nothing – it’s all about keeping active.”

Geordie-born Mrs Lincoln worked as a domestic in London, then a factory worker in Warwickshire and Cambridge, where she did war work assembling gas masks, before she met and married soldier Sidney Lincoln, from Attleborough, in 1943, moving to Norwich at the height of the war.

The couple lived in Mousehold Lane, Norwich, where Mrs Lincoln again put hard work at the heart of her life, as a cleaner for the Inland Revenue and then privately for a Norwich dentist.

Mr Lincoln died in 1982, and she moved into the NNAB’s Hammond Court accommodation a year ago.

She added: “I love it here. Everyone is so kind, but they don’t interfere, just giving me the support I need, when I need it.”

Mrs Lincoln is one of several elderly residents at the NNAB’s Hammond Court, living relatively independent lives under the watchful eye of specially trained staff.

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