Record-breaking Hersham woman celebrates 108th birthday

This Is Local London: Happy birthday: Vi Malin Happy birthday: Vi Malin

A popular Hersham woman celebrated her 108th birthday last month, making her the oldest resident of a Rosemary Simmons property.

Vi Malin, who lives at The Fairings, Clarence Road, celebrated her milestone on March 23 with a special party with family, friends and staff at the supported accommodation.

She also received a fourth birthday card from the Queen, which was given pride of place in her living room among a sea of other birthday cards.

Madeline Marshall, manager of The Fairings, said: “She thought it was fantastic and absolutely wonderful. She so enjoyed it and felt privileged that people came to spend the day with her.

“She said to me ‘aren’t I lucky?’ She is so appreciative.”

Born in 1906, Mrs Malin has lived in Rosemary Simmons housing since she moved from Sheffield to Elmbridge aged 97.

The move allowed her to be nearer to her family in the south and she moved into her current home aged 101.

Mrs Malin said: “I am so lucky to be here. When I was first brought here, I saw the beautiful big living room and then I saw the bedroom and thought, ‘this can’t be for me’, it was so big.”

During the Second World War, Mrs Malin worked in the steel works from the age of 14, making cutlery, and was also bombed out of her home, forcing her to sleep in a school with no windows.

Mrs Malin and her husband, Jack, enjoyed many holidays together, visiting every part of the British isles.

But at the age of 87, Mrs Malin travelled on an aeroplane for the first time, embarking on a 13-hour flight to Canada to visit family.

Now, firmly rooted in Hersham, Mrs Malin enjoys football, watching the snooker and Eggheads on television, enjoying the company of her neighbours and strawberry gateaux baked for the schemes Tuesday tea parties.

Ms Marshall said: “She’s fab. She is as bright as a button and she has all her marbles. You forget how old she really is.”

Asked what her secret to keeping young was, Mrs Malin said: “good air”.

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