THE secret to a happy life is remembering to have fun and make people laugh, according to Bridport woman Doris Keating who has celebrated her 100th birthday.
Doris, who lives at Folly Mill Lodge in Bridport, was born in Tamworth, Staffordshire, the same year the First World War broke out in Britain and first moved to Dorset in 1975.
She was inspired to move to Dorset after watching a programme on television where a farmer was speaking about the county.
She said: “He spoke so passionately about the area and the Dorset scenery in the background was stunning, it got me wondering what living there would be like. I looked it up on the survey map, my husband and I decided to come and have a look and decided that Bridport was our favourite.”
Doris, who has two children, Gail and Guy, three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, had her first job at her father’s jewellery shop for two years after school.
She remembers that a weekly bus ticket cost her six shillings and she could buy her lunch for a whole week at a cost of just five shillings.
Doris said: “I also remember walking towards the shop and seeing a man smash the window and grab jewellery before running off.
“My dad and I chased him as far as we could and luckily, through a police investigation, we got the merchandise back.”
Doris then taught herself shorthand and typing skills and enrolled in a commercial college to get her certificates.
Afterwards, she worked in the civil service at an income tax office in Essex before having children and moving into part-time work.
After moving to Dorset, Doris and her husband volunteered at a number of art exhibitions at Parnham House, which was bought by British furniture designer John Makepeace.
She also helped set up the Bridport Arts Centre and retired in 1970, enjoying needlework, reading and knitting as hobbies.
Doris said her favourite memory was taking a swim in the River Blackwater in Essex when she was 18.
She added: “I fell in love with Bridport when I first came here; it feels like a real Georgian town and is the roughly the same size as the town I grew up in, so it suited me best.
“Comparing life to what it was like when I was little to today is almost like a different world.”
Friends and family helped Doris celebrate her milestone birthday on July 5 at a party with cake and sherry – and a coffee morning the previous day – which Doris described as ‘unexpectedly super’.