‘Zest for life’ the secret to living to see 100th birthday

100th birthday of Gladys Walker. Her birthday was on Dec 29th. Submitted pic SUS-160401-192613001

100th birthday of Gladys Walker. Her birthday was on Dec 29th. Submitted pic SUS-160401-192613001

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A mother of two celebrated her 100th birthday with friends and family last month.

Gladys Walker, of Vincent Close, had a party to mark her special day on December 29.

Gladys is born and bred in Horsham, the daughter of well-known butcher George Petts, who in later life owned a butcher’s shop in Elm Grove.

He and her mother Edith lived in the Bishopric next to the Kings Arms. Gladys was second born with two brothers. Alfred was the eldest, and because he became a drummer in local bands, he was better know by the name Styx. After Gladys, came William ‘Jim’ Petts.

She married Andy Walker in January 1940, and they had two sons, Rex and Ross, who are now both married with children and grandchildren.

Sadly Andy died in 1966, at the age of 50, and Gladys has lived on her own after her sons were married. She now has four grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.

After Andy died, Gladys continued her father’s legacy in retail by becoming a partner in the Children’s Shop in the Carfax, where she worked until retirement.

Her son Ross explained her secret to long life. He said: “She’s very fond of people and company. She always has a drop of whisky before going out. She’s got a tremendous zest for life.”