Magnificent Mary hits 106th birthday

Inspirational former Ilkeston woman Mary Mason has cemented her position as one of Britain’s oldest women after celebrating her 106th birthday.

The pensioner, who lives at Giltbrook Care Home, received a telegram from the Queen. She was treated to a party and cake by care-home staff to mark the milestone.

Her grandson, Pete Pheasant, and her great grandson, Joe Pheasant, visited her for her birthday.

Pete, who lives in Ilkeston, said: “It is a remarkable achievement to get to that age.

“Especially with the circumstances and hardships people of her generation endured.

“I don’t think life was very easy for them back then.”

“I don’t know what her secret to old age is, but I hope she has passed it on to me!”

Lorna Codd, a member of staff at the home, said Mary was in bright spirits the morning of her birthday.

“She said ‘good morning’ to everybody on her birthday – it was like she knew,” she said.

“She seemed in really good form.”

Lorna added that Mary was still ‘feisty and full of spirit’ and there was no recent deterioration in her health.

Mary was one of 13 children, as was her first husband, Edgar Sains.

They had one child together and Mary remarried in her 70s after Edgar passed away. She lived in Doncaster before moving to Ilkeston aged 96 to be near family.