Soon to be 100-year-old former shopkeeper says stay off the drink if you want to make the century

Gwen Denton is set to celebrate her 100th birthday on June 1, with two parties.

Gwen Denton is set to celebrate her 100th birthday on June 1, with two parties.

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A soon-to-be centenarian shopkeeper says the key to long life is staying away from the drink...except for the odd port and lemonade.

Gwen Denton will turn 100 on June 1, and the sprightly pensioner intends to hold two parties to celebrate, one at her current home in Simon De Senlis residential home and the other at the Salvation Army depot she volunteered at for 17 years.

Mrs Denton says a simple healthy lifestyle is the key to her ripe old age.

She said: “I don’t drink, I’ve never smoked - everyone asks me how I have managed to stay healthy.

“But I’ve been active all my life and I have worked all my life.

“I never drank whenever I went to the pub, I might have the odd port and lemonade if I was at a do though.”

Mrs Denton was born in June 1916 and grew up in Fetter Street, which now sits in the town’s Cultural Quarter.

She married her first husband Ronald in 1939, just before the outbreak of World War Two and worked in a bakehouse in Leicester throughout the war.

She went on to work as a shopkeeper for electrical firm Plessey and later for the Co-op.

However her main love in her life has been volunteering for the Salvation Army in Northampton.

Mrs Denton worked with the charity for 17 years and used to cook for a Tuesday afternoon luncheon club.

Sadly husband Ronald died in 1977 and she remarried Rushden man Ernest eight years later.

Sadly again though, he passed away while on holiday in 1988.

Nowadays Mrs Denton, who has travelled to Canada, Austria and Germany in her life, says she enjoys trips into town with her step-daughter Joyce, who still takes her to the Salvation Army headquarters in Tower Street.