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WATCH: Shropshire's Gaynor is cock-a-hoop at turning 100

By Nick Humphreys | Minsterley | News | Published:

A 100-year-old Shropshire woman was cock-a-hoop at her milestone birthday celebration after one of her carers performed a hula routine.

Gaynor Smith celebrates her 100th birthday at Hillcrest Manor Nursing Home, Minsterley, Shrewsbury, with activities co-ordinator Nula Irwin, aka Nula Hula, who gave Gaynor a personal hula hoop performance

Gaynor Smith celebrated her big day at Hillcrest Manor nursing home in Minsterley, near Shrewsbury, among family as well as friends and staff.

And after she'd opened her card from the Queen, she was treated to a dazzling display of hula hooping from Hillcrest activities co-ordinator Nula Irwin, who is also a professional performer under the stage name Nula Hula.

Ruth Thurgur, Gaynor's daughter, said: "She had a lovely day. Her bedroom looks like a flower shop. She's had so many flowers and cards.

"The care home really bent over backwards to give her a nice day, which is wonderful considering everything that is going on. They are absolutely amazing."

Watch Nula Hula's routine for Gaynor:

Nula Hula: Carer's hula hoops routine to mark Gaynor Smith's 100th birthday

Born on May 17, 1920, in Rhyl, north Wales, Gaynor was raised by her Welsh speaking parents and educated at Dr Williams School in Dolgellau. She went on the get a degree in English and married Rev. Percy Smith.

In 1946, just after the Second World War, Gaynor and Percy travelled to the Far East where they ran a church and taught in Hong Kong for nearly eight years.

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They had daughter Ruth in 1947 and returned to England six years later to start their own refuge in Dorset for people with addiction, mental health or homelessness issues called the Pilsdon Community. The charity is still running today, 62 years on.

In 1980 , Gaynor retired and two years later she wrote the book Pilsdon Morning. She lived in Cambridge until in 2002 when she moved to Bishop's Castle to be near her daughter and son-in-law.

Four years ago she suffered a stroke and, after a period in hospital, she was transferred to Hillcrest Manor Residential Nursing Home near Minsterley.

Ruth said that she believes the secret to Gaynor's longevity is down to "a huge inner strength" and added: "I'm very proud of my parents."

Nick Humphreys

By Nick Humphreys
Senior Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star focusing on Shrewsbury.

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