Walking is the secret to great-grandmother Hilda reaching 100

Hilda Sykes celebrating her 100th birthday with family and friends at Fornham House
Hilda Sykes celebrating her 100th birthday with family and friends at Fornham House
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A great-grandmother who has celebrated her 100th birthday puts the secret to her long life down to having ‘walked her socks off’.

Keeping active is key for Hilda Sykes who would walk everywhere - enjoying treks with the Ramblers’ Association - and was fond of folk music dancing.

Her daughter Sylvia Carter said her mum would also deliver papers six days a week around villages with a friend and if she ‘wasn’t walking, she was cycling’.

Last Thursday, she celebrated the milestone with family and friends at Fornham House care home, in Fornham St Martin, where she has lived for two years.

Mrs Sykes was born in Stowmarket, where her father was the foreman of Green’s Mill. She worked in grand houses in Felixstowe and Ipswich as a live-in cleaner and married her husband Leonard in 1939.

They lived in Ingham and had a son Barry and daughter Sylvia.

Mr Sykes went to the Middle East for five years during the war and would send presents in parcels wrapped in fabric, which Mrs Sykes would use to make blankets or sheets.

After Mr Sykes passed away in 1975, she moved to Bury St Edmunds the following year.

She worked at the former Telephone Exchange cafe, in Whiting Street, and helped with school meals at Priory School up to the age of 67.

She has five grandchildren and six great-children.