IT was the start of a new year, a new decade and even a new century for happy-go-lucky Peggy Bridger.
The Tetbury-born 100-year-old celebrated reaching three figures with dozens of family members and friends, who surprised her with a party at Stanton House Hotel on New Year’s Day.
Peggy was all smiles and full of good cheer when she received cards and congratulations from more than 50 of her loved ones who wanted to spend the first day of 2020 with her.
She said: “It was lovely to see so many people, I didn’t expect it at all and really enjoyed my birthday, what a great start to the new year.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years but everything has happened so naturally that you almost don’t notice it.
“My happiest memories were when I was small, from five to 14 years old, I had such a happy childhood.
“The secret to a long and happy life? Hard work in my younger days then taking it easy for the rest. I’m not going anywhere yet –- I’ve still got a sparkle in me.
“I would like to thank everyone for coming to see me, it’s really meant a lot.”
Swindon mayor Kevin Parry presented Peggy with a telegram from the Queen, which was the icing on the cake for her special day.
Speaking of which, the great great grandmother estimates that she’s made hundreds of cakes over the years.
Daughter Carole Butler added: “That’s one thing that she absolutely loved doing no matter the occasion – wedding cakes, Christmas cakes, birthday cakes, anything.
“She also loved travelling and went on lots of holidays abroad until her health stopped her, though she’s still quite active for her age.
“She sings songs when the carers arrive, she loves singing, she’s very happy-go-lucky, bubbly and funny.”
Peggy has two children, four grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
She lives at her home in Freshbrook, looked after by family and two carers who both wanted to spend their day off celebrating Peggy’s birthday.
Peggy started working as a waitress in London as a teenager before returning home at the start of the Second World War.
She then worked in a Swindon cinema, married her husband and moved to Hastings but then moved back to Swindon when he sadly died.
Peggy worked at R&K Wise on the mince pie line in Upper Stratton then met her partner Ron in Garrards.
They moved near Poole to manage a caravan park, where she did the cleaning, for 15 years before returning to Swindon after Ron died.