A 106 year old woman who has never even had a boyfriend has revealed the secret of her long life - a complete lack of men.
Madeline Dye has never been on a date and her first (and only) visit to a pub came on her 90th birthday. But she reckons her extraordinary longevity is down to avoiding the "stresses" that come with marriage and relationships.
Madeline was born in Heeley, South Yorkshire, in 1912 - the same year the Titanic sank and the Woolwich foot tunnel opened. The retired bookbinder lived independently at home until the age of 103 when a fall left her needing nursing care. At home, she cooked steak and chips in dipping and kept herself busy around the house - even putting up her own curtains in her later years.
Despite moving to Norton Lees Hall care home, Madeline still walks without a stick and can often be found chatting with other residents. She celebrated her 106th birthday on April 28 with a family trip to Derbyshire and a party at the care home. Her niece Diana Heaton, 80, said: "She walks freely without a stick and is very independent. "When she was 103 she asked if I could change some curtains for her in a bedroom. "I said I would do it the next day and when I arrived she said 'do you like the curtains - look what I've done? "She changed them and carried some steps from the cellar up the stairs to her front bedroom." "She does still dress herself and goes into the common room and chats with people. "She has a great sense of humour still, she has never lost it. "Whenever anyone asks her about her past romances or if she has a husband, she says 'I've never had one, that's why I'm this age'. "She says she has not had the stresses of marriage, it's tongue-in-cheek more than anything. "She has always loved her clothes and has always dressed immaculately."
Madeline's long life may also be down to walking two miles up a steep hill four times a day while going from and to work. She was last year reunited with a friend who Madeline lived through the horrors of the Blitz with after spending 70 years apart. Kit Sollitt, 97, managed to get back in touch with her former neighbour Madeline after she read a news article detailing her 105th birthday. That set in motion plans for an emotional reunion where the former close pals were able to roll back the years and reminisce of their wartime experiences sheltering from Nazi bombs in a cramped cellar.
Single Madeline was born in 1912 and has lived her entire life in Sheffield, UK. Her father Ernest died in the First World War when she was a girl, and she lived for most of her life with her mother Mary and sister Auralie, never marrying or having any children. Madeline worked her entire career as a bookbinder and she was a keen gardener and knitter.
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