Annie Hardy, 103, lives at Prince George Duke of Kent Court, in Chislehurst. She moved to the Home in 2018.
Annie was born on 16 June 1919 in Rotherhithe. When the Second World War broke out, she accompanied her younger siblings to go and live safely with relatives in Wales. However, Annie returned to London to take her chances. She then worked in a munitions factory, making bombs for the British army. When the war was over, Annie worked in the print and bookbinding industry until she retired almost 40 years ago.
As a child, Annie was a bright student and passed the exams to attend a grammar school. However, she says:
Unfortunately, I couldn’t go. My parents weren’t able to afford the uniform!
Despite this, she recalls her childhood fondly, having fun with her six siblings and visiting pie and mash shops in Rotherhithe and Tower Bridge Road.
A life of friendship and adventure
Some time after her first husband sadly passed away, Annie remarried and gained a stepson. Although she widowed again, Annie has had a good family and a circle of friends, with whom she travelled around the globe. She has been to Brazil, Bulgaria, Italy and Spain, and enjoyed a trip on Concorde around the Bay of Biscay and back with champagne when she turned 80.
Resident Annie, about to embark on her trip on Concorde around the Bay of Biscay.
The staff at Prince George Duke of Kent Court, where she has lived for five years, knew that Annie has always loved pie and mash. They kindly arranged a trip to London for her, where she had the opportunity to enjoy pie and mash at Manze’s, in Deptford. Manze’s is one of the last few original pie and mash shops left, which Annie used to visit when she was a child, back in the 1920s.
Annie enjoys pie and mash at Manze’s in her latest visit. The Home staff kindly arranged a trip to London for her.
Despite the hardships in her life, Annie will turn 104 in June and her face is always bright with a smile. How does she do it? This is her secret:
My secret to a long life is good home-cooked food, keeping busy, working hard… and no debts!