Dorothy celebrates 104th birthday and shares secret to a long life

A woman has reached the astonishing age of 104 and celebrated the incredible milestone with her friends, family and care home staff in Beverley on Bank Holiday Monday.

Dorothy Page, who was born and raised in Wakefield, later went on to live on the East Yorkshire coast. She is now a resident at Claremont House nursing home in Beverley who helped arrange the special day for her.

While many people may be wondering the secrets to a long and happy life - Dorothy has revealed all. She praises custard tarts, crisps, and of course, sherry.

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Aged around 20, she joined the Women's Air Force in 1939 and became a sergeant. She married her husband Leonard Page just after the end of World War II in 1946 and they had three children: Christopher, Stephen, and Alison. Now she is a grandmother to four grandchildren: Adam, Abigail, Kathryn, and Jonathan.

Her husband Leonard sadly died when he was 78 so Dorothy has been on her own a long time. But her daughter, Alison Page, describes her mother as a "strong independent woman."

Alison, 63, and her son Adam Page, 18, often visit and he sometimes brings friends. They enjoy spending their time together by telling jokes and dancing.

Dorothy Page who has recently turned 104 years old
Dorothy Page who has recently turned 104 years old -Credit:Donna Clifford

As well as dancing, Dorothy has many skills up her sleeves. Alison says her mum is clever, charming, and very artistically talented.

Alison said: "When she was 16, she thought everyone had forgotten her birthday but then her father said 'present's in t'front room' and it was a piano - she turned out to be very talented and within a few years she was performing for the festivals.

"Unfortunately, she stopped when she joined the WAF. But she was so good-looking she could have become a star."

"She's very artistic and was a very good pianist and very good at needlework and crafts. She won prizes for Fair Isle knitting. It's only in the last 18 months she has gone downhill.

"Even when she was 102, she would be on her iPad playing games and doing her emails. She loved her flat in Bridlington and said 'you'll be carrying me out' but sadly she had to go into care."

Dorothy Page aged between 18 and 19 at around the time she joined the RAF
Dorothy Page aged between 18 and 19 at around the time she joined the RAF -Credit:Donna Clifford

During the war, Dorothy was offered the chance to go abroad to work as a code-breaker intercepting ciphers but decided against it. For many years, she was a housewife but then she went into market research for pharmaceuticals and was very good at her job.

"A lot of doctors don't like talking to researchers but they were happy to talk to mum about the medicines they were using," said Alison. "She was a very charming, gregarious, lovely person."

Alison also thanked the staff at Claremont House, saying: "The staff at Claremont House are lovely. The hairdresser came especially to do her hair so she was looking nice for her birthday."