A BLYTH woman who remembers when news of the Titanic disaster broke has celebrated her 106th birthday.
Maud Smith opened cards from the Queen and pensions minister Ian Duncan Smith, with her nieces Rosina Aldred and Cynthia Hudson at her side.
“Everything is just so different nowadays,” said Maud, who has lived through two world wars.
“When I was little I remember watching when the first airship flew over the village.”
Born in Carlton as one of six children, Maud spent much of her adult life in Leicestershire but has now returned to her roots.
Maud lives at Blyth Country House Care Home, which used to be the estate house for Blyth Hall.
“I used to play with the daughter of Lord and Lady Barnby. They would come and pick me up in a pony and trap.”
As a young girl, Maud worked as a fever nurse at Blaby Hospital near Leicester. But apart from that she has never worked or had any children.
Rosina said: “Perhaps that is how she has managed to live so long.”
When she lost her first husband, Maud remarried in 1964 but her second husband also passed away.
She lived on her own until she was 101, and has lived at the residential home ever since.
When asked about the secret to such a long life, she said: “I always have a little tipple of Bailey’s before bed. I have had a happy life and I continue to be happy here.”
Maud said she has always tried to say ‘yes’ to everything, and has been all over the world on holidays. Cards from relatives as far away as Australia, America and Canada arrived on the doorstep at Blyth Country House, proving Maud is thought of very fondly.
Care home deputy manager Jan Bacon said Maud was still very active. She walks on her own with a frame and doesn’t take any medication at all,” she said.
Maud is visited regularly at the home by her nieces Cynthia Hudson, Rosina Aldred, June Bend and nephews Peter Beeston and Peter Day.
Cynthia said: “It would be interesting to know if there is anyone older than Maud living locally.”