Something in the water? Special birthdays celebrated at same Broads care home

Three residents at Heron Lodge Nursing Home

Doris Harris turns 104 on March 29. She is pictured with son Graham Stevens, granddaughter Louise Anderson and great grandchildren Florence, three and Finley, four months. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

They were days when films were silent, few people had cars and nobody needed a mobile phone. 

The early 1920s may seem like a different world now, but three people at a single Norfolk nursing home saw them first hand. 

And now Heron Lodge in Norwich Road, Wroxham has held a special joint afternoon tea party for the trio, who are all marking been aged over 100 in the coming weeks. 

Lily Barnes turns 103 on February 28, having lived her whole life on the Broads, at Hevingham and Blofield.

Three residents at Heron Lodge Nursing Home, are having 100+ birthdays! Peggy Ibbett with son Peter

Peggy Ibbett with son Peter Ibbett and daughter-in-law Jackie Ibbett. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Doris Harris turns 104 on March 29, and Peggy Ibbett - a lifelong Norwich resident - turns 101 on April 25.

Lily’s son Everitt said: “After getting married at 16 to my father Billy, she worked hard all her life. But, as they say, hard work never killed anyone.”

Her jobs ranged from the tough slog of sugar beet harvesting and cleaning boats at Brundall to becoming a cleaner and then nurse assistant at Thorpe St Andrew’s hospital, caring for the elderly.

Three residents at Heron Lodge Nursing Home, are having 100+ birthdays! Friends Lilian Barnes and Do

Lily Barnes, left, and Doris Harris are both celebrating their birthdays. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

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Doris had been living in her own bungalow in Sprowston until 2020 when she moved to the nursing home to escape the isolation of the coronavirus lockdown.

The party was the first time she had met her four-month-old great-grandson Finlay.

Three residents at Heron Lodge Nursing Home,

Lily Barnes, who lives at Heron Loge nursing home in Wroxham, turns 103 on February 28. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Doris' son Graham said: “Maybe her secret to long life is that she has never worried much about anything; she has always been very relaxed.”

When asked what he thought the secret was to Peggy's longevity, her son, Peter, said: “She has always eaten very, very healthily and remained active – she was walking until she was 92 with the Trefoil Guild.

“She has had a hard life, she lost her husband at the age of 44, but has always coped; she is a very peaceful person and has always been content with life.”

Maebh McCormack, manager of the Kingsley Helathcre home, said the birthdays would be followed by yet another similar celebration later in the year - the 101st birthday of Lily Pye in July.

Ms McCormack said: “In my 12 years as a nurse I have never encountered a home with so many residents living happily to such a grand old age.  

"Many of our other residents have reached their mid and late 90s.

“We are a home where most of our residents have lived their life in the local area.”