Three women over 100 say their secret is 'staying active and having a toy boy nearby’

Irene Rankin aged 101 (left), Daisy Taylor aged 103 (middle) and Phyllis Cottrell aged 103 (right) have shared their secrets to a long life. (SWNS)
Irene Rankin aged 101 (left), Daisy Taylor aged 103 (middle) and Phyllis Cottrell aged 103 (right) have shared their secrets to a long life. (SWNS)

Three friends all aged over 100 years have shared their secret to a long life, which includes having a "toy boy nearby".

They also said happiness, staying active, family, fresh air and nature are other key ways to live to a grand age.

Daisy, 103, Irene, 101, and Phyllis, 103, have all been through their fair share of triumphs and tragedies, but say they still laugh and "enjoy life to the fullest".

The pals who all live in the same care home have now offered their advice on how to live to a century and beyond while enjoying the journey along the way.

Daisy Taylor, who turns 104 this month, says she makes the most of every day and loves having her large family around her to do this with.

"I live life to the full," she says. "I’m always on the go, I don’t like sitting around.

"Sitting in a chair is not my scene really. It's come to that now, but the carers help keep me busy."

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Daisy says she has a toy boy in a nearby care home. (SWNS)
Daisy says she has a toy boy in a nearby care home. (SWNS)

The centenarian, who has two daughters, one son, 10 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren, admits she has always loved to keep active.

Her carers at Manor Lodge in Chelmsford, Essex, say she "walks to and from the dining room and is very speedy in activities".

They say both Daisy and Phyllis are the oldest people to attend their movement to music and are able to participate fully.

Daisy adds: "I like doing things. Yoga, dancing, cycling, I’ve always been to exercise classes and mixing with people is a nice thing."

Daisy says she met her husband Ramon at a dance when she was 19. The couple were married 39 years before he passed away at just 60.

But she confesses she "has a toyboy in another local care home who is 96."

Irene Rankin describes herself as an "easygoing" soul who "gets on well with mostly everything".

Born in Clapton, London, she says she has always loved being outdoors.

"I like to be in the fresh air, beside the seaside, in nature," she explains.

"The animals and the plants have always taken my fancy because they are living creatures."

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Irene and her friends say they live life to the full. (SWNS)
Irene and her friends say they live life to the full. (SWNS)

Irene, who worked with machines in upholstery, the same job as Daisy, and used to be captain of her school swimming team, has always thrown herself into her hobbies and things that make her happy, admitting there "aren’t many things [she] dislikes".

"I have always loved swimming and diving," she continues. "Cooking, gardening – whatever I’m doing I like it to look nice."

But the Doris Day fan says one of her biggest loves in life is music, with her carers saying Irene "dances all the time".

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Irene’s carers at Manor Lodge say the joyful lady “dances all the time”.

"I like to sing in my own way," she explains. "Music always brings back such lovely memories and I thoroughly enjoy it.

"Dancing, laughter and joining in are things I have lived by".

Phyllis Cottrell loves knitting and at 103-years-old still still teaches others how to knit.

Much like her two friends, Phyllis has always been active and "cannot stand not doing anything".

The mother-of-two from East London met her first husband at 18, but he passed away shortly after their wedding having left the country to fight in the war.

Phyllis raised her daughter on her own for four years, before meeting Charles, whom she endearingly named 'Red'.

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Phyllis still teaches people how to knit. (SWNS)
Phyllis still teaches people how to knit. (SWNS)

Phyllis, who had her second daughter with Red, says of the couple's relationship: "I was happily married for 73 years. One of my greatest achievements was finding love again with him [Red]."

As well as being a mother of two, she worked in many different fields, including as a dinner lady, running a laundry, a cleaner, salesperson and model, and only retired when she was 80.

Phyllis, who now has three grandchildren, believes living and eating healthily is very important.

"I used to tell the children that they must eat their greens!" she emphasizes.

But it's while being surrounded by her friends and family that Phyllis is at her happiest.

Now living with dementia, she says if she could give advice on how to live a long and happy life, it would be to "be kind and optimistic – a positive attitude is the key to life.

"Also keep yourself warm in the winter," she adds.

Additional reporting SWNS.