'I don't feel 109!': Ivy Clapham, East Riding's oldest person, celebrates birthday
THEY say you should never ask a lady her age.
However, East Riding's oldest resident, Ivy Clapham, does not mind.
She has lived through two world wars and experienced life under the rule of 21 prime ministers and five monarchs.
Celebrating her 109th birthday yesterday, she said: "I can't be 109. I don't feel like I am 109 years old."
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Despite her age, Ivy is as independent as ever and still lives in her own home near Cottingham.
Speaking on the secrets of a long life and a clean bill of health, she said: "I'm not sure what the secret is.
"I have never drank or smoked and I do like the country life.
"I love spending time in my garden, looking at the flowers and listening to and watching the birds.
"I also have a lovely family who have helped me get this far. Everyone is so kind and so good."
The Wright Brothers were just about to successfully take to the skies in their own aircraft when Ivy Clapham was born 1903.
Now, Ivy has two daughters and a son, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
She was originally from Alford in Lincolnshire, but came to the region to work at Bishop Burton Hall in her late teens to take a position as a maid for the Hall-Watt family. It was while working as a cleaner at the hall that she met her husband, gamekeeper Frederick Clapham. The couple married in 1928.
They later moved to Skidby and opened the West End Stores shop in the village.
Despite being an active member of the family, Ivy admits she has had to slow down in the past couple of years.
She said: "I used to knit and garden, but now I've stopped. "I still like a wander in the garden.
"I used to have a caravan in Hornsea until I was 100, which I really enjoyed, but I have given that up."
What do you buy someone for their 109th birthday?
Her daughter, Ursula Leak, said: "When we ask her what she wants she always says not to buy her any presents – she is happy just receiving cards from us all.
"She is quite difficult to buy for. Anything she needs, we buy during the year.
"She usually gets a lot of chocolates and a lot of flowers.
"We are all looking forward to the celebrations on Saturday. I just hope the weather is nice.
"My mum really enjoys celebrating her birthday."
Ivy, who has received birthday messages from as far away as Australia, was celebrating the event at Ursula's home in Kirk Ella.
Family and friends were visiting them yesterday and there is also going to be a party on Saturday.