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What's the secret of living to a good old age? Ask Annie – she's 109!

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 14, 2012

  • Annie Meston with her grandson Keith Tanner and his partner Debbie Miller. Left: Annie's birthday cake, showing her as a 15-year-old, seated left, with her family

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She was born in the fishing port overlooking the harbour in 1903.

And yesterday, Annie Meston, celebrated her 109th birthday in the same town in which she was born and where she still lives.

Annie, who is the 29th oldest person in the country, marked another milestone with her grandson, granddaughter and great-grandchildren at her home in Brixham, Devon.

The 109-year-old has been the longest-living resident in Devon and Cornwall for the past four years.

She marked the occasion by enjoying a birthday cake, depicting her as a 15-year-old girl, as she celebrated with her full-time carers – grandson Keith Tanner and his partner Debbie Miller.

Three of her five great- grandchildren – Adam, Luke and Samara – also joined her, along with other family members, friends, and neighbours for a "wonderful" birthday.

Other great-grandchildren Amy, in Holland, and Alejander, who lives in Florida, both managed to have Skype conversations with her.

Mr Tanner said: "Until she was 103 years old she flew alone out to Florida every year.

"She had her first ride on a Harley Davidson aged 98, touched a piece of the moon while at the Kennedy Space Centre, and she is probably the only living person with her portrait on show at Brixham museum.

"On her 100th birthday she enjoyed a ride on the Smash Mountain ride at Disney Land Florida, and she held $500,000 dollars of gold at Florida Keys."

When Annie was born, she was the last of nine siblings.

She left town for a just few short years, joining her first husband Norman Tanner in Preston in the north of England, and then Wimbledon in London. Sadly, after a few years of marriage, Norman was killed by a V2 bomb in the Second World War.

Annie remarried Bill Meston, but that marriage was short-lived too as he died some eight years later, of wounds he had sustained in the war.

Her son also died at a young age, leaving Mr Tanner her only male relative.

Annie worked in a hotel, in a fish-and-chip shop and ran her own B&B only streets away from her present home in the town's North Boundary Road.

Mr Tanner said: "She still vividly remembers sitting at the bus shelter in Preston and seeing German bombers fly over and drop bombs."

"Today she is still living an active lifestyle and is in very good health," he added. "She is very happy. That goes a long way towards living to such a great age."

Read more from Torquay Herald Express

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