Elsie Allchin celebrated her 100th birthday on 21 May with a party at Southwood Court in Basildon.

She worked at the Lamson Paragon Printing Works in Canning Town where she met her husband, Sidney, who went on to work for The Daily Express. They were very happily married for 66 years.

Elsie has one son, two grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. She moved into Southwood Court, our sheltered home for people who have retired from the printing industry, 30 years ago. One of her proudest memories is of shaking hands with Prince Charles when he opened the rebuilt Southwood Court in 2001.

She says she owes her long life to always being busy and having lots of interests. She was a keen member of the Women’s Institute for many years, loves painting and has held an exhibition of her work, playing the piano, reading and, when she was younger, was a keen gardener.