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100-year-old woman says drink and cigarettes keep her young

By dsorbello at Aug. 9, 2023, 1:27 p.m., 24459 hits

By Heidi Blake
Published: 7:30AM GMT 04 Mar 2010

Lorna Gobey smoked her first cigarette in 1940 – the same year the country was blitzed during the Battle of Britain.

The retired cinema-usher, who smokes 20 Sterling Superkings Blue a day, has gone through over half-a-million cigarettes since then.

The great grandmother of 55 – who also has 27 grandchildren and 12 great-great grandchildren – danced the night away at her local Labour Club on Monday, where she enjoyed her favourite tipple – a whiskey Guinness chaser.

Mrs Govey attributes her longevity to her fun-loving lifestyle and said her family ‘'wouldn’t dare'' tell her to stop smoking.

Speaking from her home in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, yesterday, she said: ‘'I’ve been smoking since I was 30 and have had no problems at all.

''People try and tell you it's bad for you but my family wouldn't dare ask me to stop. If they did, I'd put them across my lap and give them a slapped bum.

''I've always tried to enjoy life. I think it's important to do the things you want to do and not to let things get you down.

''I like my smokes, a drop of whiskey and Guinness and I still love to play skittles. Perhaps it's part of the reason I have lived for so long. I never thought I'd make it to 100, but I have. I'm quite amazed really.''

Mrs Gobey was born in Apperly, near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, in 1910, before moving to nearby Cheltenham where she has lived ever since.

She had a variety of jobs including cleaning, cooking and working as an usher at the Goldmont cinema – later renamed the Odeon, where she started smoking aged 30.

She has lived through two world wars, three husbands and countless governments, and carried on riding a motorcycle until she was well into her 70s.

But Mrs Gobey is showing no signs of slowing down.

She said: ‘'I’m going to carry on for as long as I can. I'm captain of my skittles team and I want to continue playing.

''My lifestyle hasn't done me any harm so far. You could say I haven't followed the rule book, but I'm not about to change now.''

Her son Bob Fisher, 66, said: ‘'She smokes faster than the rest of us and still loves a drink. She loves bingo, playing a tune on the mouth organ and riding around town in cars.’'

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