How to live to 100 : History’s centenarians reveal their secrets

Posted on January 4th, 2016 by BNA

And so, as with every New Year, we welcome the quinoa-packed saucepans, virtuous jars of coconut oil and the herbal remedies which, we hope, will push out the carbs and caffeine binges of last year. The supermarket queue displays a thousand promises of health, wealth and well-being from slim, smiling models.

But in a world where a simple glass of red wine can have a thousand conflicting effects from self-declared health experts, what’s the real secret to longevity? Well, why not take a look at the evidence? Here are sage words of advice from some of history’s centenarians…

 

Mrs Caroline Trickey

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 15 March 1930

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette – Saturday 15 March 1930 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“If you want to live to be a hundred be happy and satisfied. I have always tried to keep in the best of spirits. I’ve been contended with my lot, and never eat more than I want.”

And there’s one more thing we can all take away from Caroline Trickey’s schedule:

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 15 March 1930 a

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette – Saturday 15 March 1930 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 

Miss Fanny Daniel

North Devon Journal - Thursday 28 October 1926

North Devon Journal – Thursday 28 October 1926 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The North Devon Journal reported that:

‘In answer to a question as to her views on modern inventions, Miss Daniel laughingly remarked that they were “all very wonderful,” and informed us that the first ride she had in a motorcar was last March, and she heard the wireless for the first time a few weeks ago. “This wireless,” she added, “is a funny thing, but I reckon it’s all wonderful.”’

She advised that “Early rising, plenty of hard work, and plenty of good food, are the things that make you live to a good old age… I have always had substantial food- my people used to kill a bullock for the house, so you see I lived well.”

 

 

Mrs Sophia Ellis

Cornishman - Wednesday 14 September 1927

Cornishman – Wednesday 14 September 1927 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“My breakfast consists of two pieces of bread and butter, with a cup of tea; for dinner I have meat and vegetables, sometimes a pasty; bread and butter for tea, and a cup of tea after I am in bed. We hear a lot about the injurious effect of tea, but I have been a tea-drinker all my life.”

When asked to what she attributed her long life, Sophia Ellis said: “Hard work and plain living”.

“I was left with seven children after my husband died, and it was a battle to get along. It meant hard work. This is the secret to health and long life. You can take it from me”

 

 

Mrs Elizabeth Ferris

Bristol Evening Post - Wednesday 08 March 1939

Bristol Evening Post – Wednesday 08 March 1939 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“I don’t mind smoking,” said 104 year old Elizabeth Ferris, “although I have never smoked myself. I often make fun of girls who use lipstick and powder, though I don’t suppose they do any real harm.” Though her eyes weren’t good enough for reading, she did have the Evening Post read to her every day.

 

 

Mr Zaro Agha

Perhaps the most unusual of our list, Zara Agha was allegedly one of the world’s longest living humans. Born in Turkey, Agha claimed to have fought in six wars, including the Battle of Plevna when he was 100. He spent his post- centennial years touring Britain and the US.

Dundee Evening Telegraph - Friday 29 June 1934

Dundee Evening Telegraph – Friday 29 June 1934 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

According to the Dundee Evening Telegraph, Agha didn’t smoke or drink and ate a largely vegetarian diet. Dr Serge Voronoff asked him to take part in his controversial monkey gland treatment, which claimed to rejuvenate the patient by injecting tissue from a primate’s testicles, but Agha refused, stating that he “never felt younger”.

Agha died at the alleged age of 160. Doctors suggested he was at least 40 years younger, but the truth is still unknown.

 

 

Mrs Bridget Henley

Perhaps the soundest piece of advice comes from 102 year old Bridget Henley…

 

Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian - Saturday 07 October 1933

Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian – Saturday 07 October 1933 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 

One Response to “How to live to 100 : History’s centenarians reveal their secrets”

Helen Matten (aka 'Supernan')January 31st, 2016 at 9:52 am

So there is hope for us all yet then! Longevity seems to run in my family history also. My father was 90 when he died in 2014, and my 4 times great grandfather, a (potential) sheep farmer of Yorkshire, lived and worked on his owned farm until he was 77, a good age in 1863!!
For myself, I eat a healthy diet, exercise every day, have never smoked or eaten junk food. I am 61, but still feel 30, and many people think I am in my early 50s. I was a teacher for 30 years, and have never regretted a moment in my life! It is what you make it, and so live each day to the full, as we do not know what is around the next corner! Make sure that your karma is positive, and it will never “bite you on the bum”, to coin a phrase! The saying, ” live long, and prosper” is a true one, and in our age of technology we have the means to promote long and healthy lives, so what are we waiting for?

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