Long and healthy life is all in the name for Aireborough 100-year-old Marys

Wharfedale Observer: Celebrating their century: From left are Mary Watson, Mary Avison, Mary Kitchen Buy this photo » Celebrating their century: From left are Mary Watson, Mary Avison, Mary Kitchen

A healthy diet, exercise and avoiding the evil weed all increase our chances of a long life – but perhaps being called Mary should be added to the list.

The name is a common thread linking three women who go to the same club and who are all celebrating their 100th birthday this year.

Mary Kitchen, Mary Watson and Mary Avison, marked their centenaries together on Thursday at a Christmas party thrown by a charity which helps all of them.

The three women, who live in Rawdon and Yeadon, attended the event organised by AVSED ( Aireborough Voluntary Services to the Elderly with Disabilities).

Mrs Kitchen, whose birthday was in August, is the oldest of the group – with the other two ladies celebrating their birthdays in December.

All of the women attend the AVSED social centre and are said to be very active members of the organisation.

Mrs Kitchen, who was born in Pudsey, worked for a time with the Telegraph and Argus. Her husband Ernest was Sales Manager at the newspaper for many years.

She believes not drinking or smoking have played a part in her longevity.

Mrs Avison and Mrs Watson are also both members of the Rawdon Darby and Joan Club, where they had a celebration on Monday, December 16.

They received a visit from Leeds Lord Mayor Tom Murray who joked that being called Mary should be added to the list of attributes leading to a long life.

Avsed chairman Ken Elliott said he was amazed to find that three women in the group were all celebrating their centenary year – and that all shared the same first name.

He said: “I was amazed actually. I have known one of the ladies for quite some time and I didn’t realise she was that old.”

“It is lovely to see that we have three active members who are all celebrating being 100.”

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