Annie Boyd reveals secret of living to 105

Annie is joined in the celebration of her 105th birthday by her great-niece's husband, Allan Bell. Picture: Jane Barlow
Annie is joined in the celebration of her 105th birthday by her great-niece's husband, Allan Bell. Picture: Jane Barlow
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SHE’S the plucky centenarian who swears by a daily dose of bacon rolls and enjoys nothing more than a liqueur tipple.

At 105, Annie Boyd has 
defied expectations to become one of Scotland’s oldest people.

The vivacious pensioner was hailed “indestructible” by neighbours three years ago ­after surviving a massive gas explosion that rocked her Morningside home.

Annie withstood the full force of the blast – which shattered two windows and blew apart an oak panelled door – and was still conscious when rescued.

Last week, a birthday bash was held at Renaissance care home in the Grange where a ­regal-looking Annie was ­presented with her second ­telegram from the Queen.

Care assistant Angela Martin said Annie is one of the centre’s “great characters”.

She said: “I think she’s remarkable for her age. I have worked in care for 25 years and have never met anyone as old and active as Annie. She’s so aware, her long-term memory is excellent and she still walks everywhere with her Zimmer frame. She never moans or complains and likes to have a laugh with staff.”

Ms Martin added that Annie bears an uncanny resemblance to Her Majesty.

“I have always thought she looks like the Queen. When she got her card the other day, I held the card up beside her and told her that and she said, ‘well, I wish I had her money’.”

Born in 1908 at Gogarburn, Annie grew up on a small holding farm before moving to Davidson’s Mains where she attended Corstophine Primary and Boroughmuir High.

At 15, she began working as a cashier at St Cuthbert’s Co-­Operative Store – which later became a Scotmid – and went on to own two boarding houses on Gilmore Place which were popular with performers from the King’s Theatre.

A firm believer in hard work, Annie initially retired at 65 but boredom led her to a new career as a tea lady at a hairdressers on Comiston Road, where she stayed for nine years.

Great-niece Yvonne Bell, 66, said: “She’s very happy and can go on living for years yet. My husband and I caught her up on a ladder a few years ago, cutting the hedge with shears.

“Annie likes a bacon roll every morning and a drink of Advocaat every now and then. She’s also fond of the odd chocolate. She loves snooker and Stephen Hendry in particular, though never got to meet him.

“She’s a very hardy woman and will tell you she has lasted so long because of hard work. Annie has always been full of life and if she has a bar of chocolate she doesn’t finish it – she doesn’t overindulge.”

Deputy Lord Provost Deidre Brock said: “It’s a remarkable achievement and I certainly look forward to hearing what tips for a long life she can pass one to the rest of us.”

A trip back in time

Landmark events in 1908 included:

• The founding of the Boy Scout movement.

• The first around-the-world car rally, the New York to Paris Race, began.

• The first passenger flight took place.

• The 1908 Summer Olympics were held in London.

• Western bandits Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid were believed to have been killed in Bolivia, after being surrounded by a large group of soldiers.

• Henry Ford produced his first Model T automobile.