Secret of a long life? It’s a feisty attitude, says Kathleen, 102

Kathleen Smart celebrates her 102nd birthday at Steyning SUS-160315-160130001
Kathleen Smart celebrates her 102nd birthday at Steyning SUS-160315-160130001

A woman with a passion for horse riding has celebrated her 102nd birthday - and credits her long life to her “feisty attitude.”

Kathleen Smart, who lives at Croft Meadow care home in Steyning, celebrated her centenary there with friends and family as well as local councillor Tim Lloyd, of Horsham District Council, who visited to wish her happy birthday.

Meanwhile, staff presented her with a special cake and presents to mark the occasion.

Care home manager Sharalee Thrumble said: “Kathleen is a well-loved member of Croft Meadow, who continues to make wisecracks and joke around with other residents and staff alike.

“Her strong mind and feisty attitude has definitely kept her feeling young, which makes her a pleasure to have in the home.”

Originally from Buckinghamshire, Kathleen had her only child, Valerie, before serving briefly in the Women’s Voluntary Service during World War Two in Hove.

After the death of her husband, Charles, in 1991, she moved to live with her daughter in Hurstpierpoint, where she discovered a passion for horse riding and art that she still holds to this day.

Valerie and her mother later moved to Upper Beeding in 2013, with Kathleen unfortunately suffering a stroke during the period of the move.

Last year, following several bouts in hospital and rehab, and when she could no longer be cared for at home, Kathleen moved to Croft Meadow care home, where she has proudly displayed one of her paintings above her bed.

Croft Meadow care home is run by Shaw healthcare, and provides nursing and residential care for the frail elderly and for those living with dementia.