A FORMER care home worker celebrated a very special birthday this week.

Margaret Marion Perkins turned 101 on Sunday and celebrated surrounded by her family and friends.

Mrs Perkins, who uses the name Marion, has lived at Hamilton Rest Home in Bury New Road since January 22.

She moved there from her home in New Church Court where she had been living on her own until then.

Mrs Perkins said the secret to her long life was “enjoying it”.

Her daughter Diana Trevorson-Perkins said: “She never learned to swim, or ride a bike and only ran to catch a bus. A lifetime of hard work with no labour saving devices has kept her fit to this day.”

Michelle Woodall, the home manager said: “Family came round and brought her a cake and threw her a party.

“She’s the cheekiest lady I ever knew. I have never known anyone so determined and if she doesn’t want to do it she won’t do it. She’s so sweet.

“She likes to sing when we have artists in, read the paper and chats to the lady she sits next to most of the time, Rita. She and Rita have a good old chin wag.”

Mrs Perkins was born in Harrington, in what was then Cumberland, now Cumbria.

She and her four younger siblings were raised by her grandmother Elizabeth, on a farm while their father was away fighting in World War I.

After the war her family moved to the Bury area when her father, Edwin, got a job in the building trade.

Mrs Perkins said: “School was alright, I enjoyed it but I was always glad to get home. I left when I was 14.”

She spent most of her working life caring for the elderly in Elmhurst Care Home, Whalley Road, Whitefield and said: “I enjoyed working at the home and helping people.” Marion married Harold and during the 1970s and 1980s they enjoyed holidaying around the world visiting Malawi, Zimbabwe and most of Europe.

Mrs Perkins is now the head of five generations in her family including her seven children and 19 grandchildren. Her family now lives as far afield as Australia, Hong Kong and Germany.

Many family members joined Mrs Perkins for her 101st birthday with some of the residents and staff at the home.