A HAVERFORDWEST woman put her long life down to having a glass of brandy every evening and always laughing.

Elizabeth James celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday, January 5, surrounded by her family at her home in Haverfordwest.

Western Telegraph:

“I think it must be a glass of brandy every night, it keeps me going. Just the one,” she said.

Celebrating with Ms James was her four children, Margot, Pamela, Diana and Richard, as well as her many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“It’s lovely to have the family here for my birthday but sometimes its nice to see them go home, there’s so many of them,”she said.

As well as her family, Ms James’ party was attended by representatives of Haverfordwest Town Council and she received a birthday card from the Queen.

Speaking about her school life, Ms James said she had been a keen gymnast in her youth, winning scholarships and awards for her gymnastics, and represented her school, Taskers ladies high school, in the 1936 Eisteddfod in Fishguard.

After leaving school in 1937, Ms James said she became "a lady of leisure" and a key figure in the tennis club.

In 1939 at the start of the second world war she went to work for the post office in Haverfordwest. Where she worked there the end of the war, when she married and started a family.

Western Telegraph:

Asked what advice she would have for those growing up now, Ms James said: “Always keep your chin up”.

“Keep laughing,” she said, “that’s most important; look on the bright side. It’s no good being miserable all the time. Keep your chin up and fight through it, don’t give up at the first hurdle. It’s important to keep on going.”

Ms James said she had been inspired by a piece of poetry her dad used to say to her called ‘laugh and the world laughs with you’, which has now been passed on to her grandchildren.

Ms James said she had had a full life and while she had been able to go up in a hot air balloon, she was disappointed she never got to do a skydive.