Laughing does you good, says Fakenham’s Betty, 100

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When Betty Johnson was born in December 1914, Britain had already been at war with Germany for the best part of four months.

A century later, she was surrounded by family and friends as she celebrated her 100th birthday at the Maltings care home in Fakenham, where she has lived for the past five years.

“Everyone is so kind to me here,” she said.

“I’m not sure about the recipe for a long life but I have a banana every morning and like a drop of sherry at lunchtime.”

Betty grew up in Thornage, near Holt, and attended the local school in Brinton, leaving at 14 to go into service at a nearby farmhouse where she looked after a small boy.

She married her husband Herbert in 1936. “I met him at a dance one night,” she said.

“He came up and asked me if I wanted to dance and at the end of the evening asked if he could see me again.

“I said I didn’t see why not and from then on we were together.”

Their only son, Patrick, was born six years later and Betty originally moved to Fakenham to be close to him when her husband died.

Mobility problems forced her to leave her former home in Silverlands Close but Betty is still enjoying life at The Maltings.

“I love it here and although I can’t get about much I still enjoy life,’ she said.

“I play Scrabble twice a week and there’s also bingo. And I always have a laugh with the girls which I think does you good.”