105th birthday celebrations for Christine

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A woman who ran a tobacco shop for many years has just celebrated her 105th birthday.

Christine Read, a resident at Spencer Grove care home in Belper turned 105 on January 28.

She received a birthday card from the Queen and celebrated at the home with staff, family and friends.

Christine, who has two children, four grandchildren and great grandchildren, said was ‘pleased’ and ‘proud’ to have received birthday wishes from the Queen.

She said: “I haven’t got a secret. I never drank a lot or smoked.

“My husband Fred would have a double whiskey every night at 8pm. I knew when it was that time because he’d get up out of his chair and pick up the decanter. I would join him sometimes and have a brandy.”

Christine, originally from Wirksworth, ran a tobacconist on the market place with Frederick during the Second World War, selling loose tobacco by weight.

The couple married at Wirksworth Church when Christine was 22.

The happy couple then went on to have son Charles and daughter Barbara.

Christine, who has hundreds of photos from her younger days, said: “To have two children at the same time was quite hard – it was certainly a challenge.”

During the war two evacuee boys from Manchester came to live with them. And, as well as running the shop, Christine also repaired leather shoes and boots.

A resident at Spencer Grove for five years which is owned by Milford Care, Christine added: “I like it here, they look after me well and I don’t think I could be in a better place.”

Naomi Davies, administration manager, said: “Christine is lovely.

“She is very regal and always beautifully dressed, with impeccable manners.”