Red wine, yoga and smiling - Eileen's secrets for reaching incredible age of 110

Eileen Ash puts the secret of her long life down to yoga, red wine and happiness, on her 110th birthday

Eileen Ash puts the secret of her long life down to yoga, red wine and happiness, on her 110th birthday - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

What a truly amazing woman!

Norfolk's oldest person Eileen Ash has celebrated her 110th birthday - and put the secret of her long life down to being happy, drinking red wine and keeping fit with yoga.

The former spy and international cricketer marked her landmark birthday at her home at Castlemeadow Care's St John’s House care home in Norwich. 


Eileen Ash coming in to bat for the England women's cricket team at Colwall in 1936.

Eileen Ash coming in to bat for the England women's cricket team at Colwall in 1936. - Credit: Submitted

Cards and well wishes flooded in from around the world and she even got a special Twitter video message from England cricketers, including men's team captain Joe Root.


Eileen Ash read her letter from the queen on her 110th birthday

Eileen Ash read her letter from the queen on her 110th birthday - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

The wellbeing team at the home made Eileen’s birthday extra special with a handmade personalised cricket bat for her, a professional portrait and personalised decorations.  

Her overriding wish was for her family to join her on her special day and of course for a glass or two of her favourite red wine.

Eileen Ash in her yellow Mini at the age of 100.
Photo by Simon Finlay.

Eileen Ash in her yellow Mini at the age of 100. Photo by Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant

Eileen was asked about her day and how she felt about being 110. She replied: “It’s absolutely amazing.

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"I’ve been so lucky in my life and have done some lovely things.

"I’ve been very close to my family and have been very lucky to have been healthy for so long.” 

She was asked whether she has a secret for living so long, to which she replied “Being happy and smiling a lot, red wine, and keeping fit with yoga!” 

Former women's England cricketer Eileen Ash, now 105, she attends a Yoga class on Tuesdays and drive

Former women's England cricketer Eileen Ash, now 105, she attends a Yoga class on Tuesdays and drives there in her yellow Mini. Photo by Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant

Fiona Mawby, the wellbeing manager at the care home, said that Eileen likes to start off her day with a nice lay in, she has her breakfast brought to her then enjoys a walk.  

Eileen also loves fitness class on Fridays. 

Eileen Ash celebrated her 110th birthday with her fellow residents at St John’s Care Home

Eileen Ash celebrated her 110th birthday with her fellow residents at St John’s Care Home - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Fiona said: “She is always saying ‘be happy, be happy.’ She loves being around people, I’ve never met anyone quite like her, she just wakes up happy. 

“She had her booster on October 28 and she even did that with a smile on her face and her thumbs up,” said Fiona. 

She added: “She is a party queen having had three parties for this special birthday, she is a free spirit. 

“She is a woman of the world and nothing fazes her, she really is amazing.” 

Eileen Ash, 105, with her yellow Mini
Eileen is on of 8 people in the UK aged 105 years and still h

Eileen Ash, 105, with her yellow Mini Eileen is on of 8 people in the UK aged 105 years and still holding a driving licence (Picture: ITV) - Credit: Archant


The incredible achievements of Eileen Ash.  

She played international cricket for England and is an honorary life member of the Marylebone Cricket Club, having been rewarded with this honour when she celebrated her 100th birthday. 

In 2017, aged 105, she was invited to ring the bell at the Lord’s cricket ground to mark the start of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. She returned to Lord’s in 2019 when her portrait was unveiled to mark her achievement as the oldest living international cricketer. 


Despite being a bowler, Eileen Ash scored a century with the England women's cricket team.

Despite being a bowler, Eileen Ash scored a century with the England women's cricket team. - Credit: Submitted

Eileen worked for MI6 during World War 2 and then continued to work with them for a further 11 years.  

She and her husband moved to Norwich to retire, and took up golf, finally stopping playing at the age of 98. 

But her exploits were far from over, as she passed her driving test at the age of 105 

Then to mark her 106th birthday, she was taken for a flight in a Tiger Moth plane.  

In November 2018, she opened the Eileen Ash Sports Hall, named in her honour at The Hewett Academy in Norwich.  

What happened in 1911 - the year Eileen Ash was born?

Norwich City finished 12th in Southern League - top scorer was Dick Birchall with eight goals.

George V was king and had his coronation at Westminster Abbey in June.

Herbert Asquith was Prime Minister.

The census was taken and one out of every seven employed persons was a domestic servant.  Suffragette Emily Davison hid in a cupboard in the crypt of the Palace of Westminster so that she could legitimately be recorded as resident on census night at the House of Commons.

The year was the hottest summer on record.

The Festival of Empire opened in May at Crystal Palace.

The first electric escalators were introduced to the public at Earl's Court tube station in London.

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