AS Grace Mary Thick enters her 100th year, she’s still proving she’s every bit the comic that she has always been.
The centenarian recently celebrated the milestone birthday with family and friends at the Deanwood Lodge Care Home, in Maisemore.
But her daughter Faith Cox has revealed the wonderfully rich tapestry of her mum’s life so far.
Mary, as she is better known as, started her life in Ashton Keynes, in Wiltshire, as Grace Mary Taylor but it wasn’t long before she moved to Rodmarton as a little girl along with her five sisters and four brothers.
There she took up a job in service, before moving to London to work in a house, then continuing her career at Postlip Hall in Winchcombe.
It was there that she met her first husband Horace Hughes. He had been working in the greengrocers which she often visited. Together they moved to Cheltenham when they were married and they had six children - Dave, Anthony, Cedric, Adrian, Phillip and Faith. Adrian died aged 15 and Anthony died aged 48.
After her divorce from Horace, Mary met her second husband George at a dance and they were married for 16 years until his death.
Her daughter Faith, from Corse, said: “Mum was a wonderful gardener. Her father was a head gardener and she knew all of her Latin names for all of the plants. I remember her telling me off because I couldn’t remember them all.
“She used to knit all of our cardigans and jumpers. She was in the era where everything was made.
“She was also a brilliant cook. As a girl I remember the cakes, it was always the cakes. Her butterfly cakes were wonderful.
“Mum also used to make teddy bears and rag dolls from scrap materials.
“Above all she is a comic and she has kept her sense of humour to this day.”
As a girl Mary did not want to be known as Grace Mary Taylor because the initials reminded her of Great Midland Trains but as a joke harking back to her early years, her daughter arranged for a special £100 cake - £1 for every year - from the St George’s Bakery, in Corse, which featured a steam train and the initials ‘GMT’.
“It was fantastic,” said Faith. “The party we had was wonderful. A piper from the village, Paul Collins, did Amazing Grace and mum sang along. She was waving her feet and her arms.
“We had so much cake that we gave the other residents a piece.
“Mum had a fantastic day.”