A LIFETIME of dancing, fending off admirers and an occasional Guinness has helped “belle of the ball” Dorothy Humphreys reach the age of 106.
Dorothy, or Dorrie as she is affectionately known, is one of Dorset’s oldest residents but still regales family and friends with tales from her past.
One of her earliest memories is the sinking of the Titanic and she remembers her father, who was the local police sergeant in Whitstable, being asked to help the town crier put up posters telling people the tragic news.
She can also recall her six years in the Women’s Royal Air Force, when she worked for a spell at Bomber Command headquarters in High Wycombe.
But she has the fondest memories of her time spent dancing the night away. “I was the belle of the ball,” she said.”I remember one lad who asked me to dance and he stood on my frock. He said ‘Sorry Dorrie’ and that’s what we called him from then on.”
Dorothy had a love of Douglas motorcycles and was known for telling suitors: “If you’ve got a motorbike I will dance with you, but I’ll need a lift home afterwards.”
She was born in Yalding, Kent, and was the third daughter of Frederick and Emma Henley.
She was severely jaundiced at birth and there were fears she would not survive. “My mother told me I was a yellow baby,” she said.
“They almost gave up on me.”
She married husband Matt Humphreys when she was 40 but the pair never had children together. They were married for 18 years before he passed away.
She lived independently until she was 99, cooking her own lunch every day, but now resides at Cherry Tree Lodge in Southbourne.
Her secret to a long life is simple: “I do like a Guinness every now and then,” she said. “When I get run down I drink Guinness.”