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Chippenham centenarian’s grand family
2:00pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in News
A Chippenham woman with 34 great grandchildren said her huge family had kept her young as she marked her 100th birthday.
A Guinness and a packet of crisps every day for the past 70 years hasn’t hurt Caroline Elms either.
Twenty family members flew in from Australia to join the celebration at the Angel Hotel on Friday.
Mrs Elms has lived in her Woodlands Road home for 64 years. She was born Caroline Honour in Wales, but moved to Chippenham at the age of two and has been there since.
After leaving Westmead School she made icecream at the Lanes Dairy factory before meeting Maurice Elms and getting married at 19.
They had two daughters and six sons together, beginning what would become an enormous family including 18 grandchildren and five great great grandchildren.
Granddaughter Martine Macdonald, 38, of Lower Stanton St Quintin, said: “Nan hadn’t slept all night because she was so excited about the party – there were 95 people there. She has got to such a grand age because of a big, loving family; having different people going in every day keeps her going. And there’s always another one being born – another two are due in November.”
Son Royston Elms, 76, of North Wraxall, said: “As long as I can remember Mum has religiously drunk a Guinness every day, with a bag of crisps, every evening.”
His mother used to clean at Hardenhuish School, and at the West End club with her husband Maurice, who was a painter and decorator. He passed away 15 years ago.
Mrs Elms has visited Australia five times after her daughters emigrated there, and last flew out at age 88.
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