A REMARKABLE Warrington resident, who is the oldest person in Cheshire, celebrated her 108th birthday yesterday, Wednesday.

Julia Iverson, who is ‘fit and strong’ has shared her secret to a long and happy life – at least one glass of red wine every day and saying your prayers regularly.

Julia, who is a resident at Brampton Lodge Care Centre, Appleton, was born on February 23, 1914, in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, and is one of seven children.

She started a nursing career but had to give it up due to severe eczema, so she went on to work in a library and helped her older sister with her children.

Warrington Guardian:

Julia with her daughter, Rosalind Barclay.

At the beginning of the war in 1939, Julia was posted to Mombasa, Kenya, with the Women’s Royal Naval Service.

Here, she met her husband Rino who was serving with the British Army at the time.

The pair married at Mombasa Cathedral on August 9, 1943, and had three daughters before moving to Songhor in Kenya and buying a farm.

The farm was crownland, undeveloped and had no electricity or running water, so during the week Julia would run the farm and Rino would come back to join her at the weekends.

Warrington Guardian:

Julia with activities co-ordinator, Ellie Lomax, Brampton Lodge mamanger, Debbie Davison, and deputy mayor of Warrington, Cllr Jean Flaherty

Julia later lived in Denmark before moving to Middlewich.

She moved to the Appleton care home in 2017 and has been there since.

Staff at the home described her as ‘remarkable’ and a ‘real character’.

Julia now has five grandchildren and two great grandchildren who live across the world and was previously an owner of dogs, several parrots, cats and mongooses.

Julia enjoys cups of tea, glasses of red wine and singing - and her favourite song is A Long Way to Tipperary.

Warrington Guardian:

These days, Julia thinks she is at a party a lot of the time and often shouts for staff to get her a glass of red wine – her favourite is merlot and rioja.

She even knows when it has been watered down!

Debbie Davison, manager of Brampton Lodge, said: “When Julia arrived she had she had just turned 103 years of age.

“She has celebrated birthdays with the Mayor of Warrington, had five minutes of fame on BBC News Northwest and always has a nice big party to celebrate her day.

“Julia loves a glass of red wine every day, sometimes at 7:30am in the morning - but that doesn’t matter to her as she’s a firm believer that a glass of red has kept her going to make it to the ripe old age of 108.  

Warrington Guardian:

“Every year when Julia receives her birthday card from the Queen she is so happy and always comments on how lovely her clothes are and how nice it is to receive a birthday card from our Queen.

“We are proud to be a part of Julia’s 108th birthday celebrations at Brampton Lodge and hope she enjoys her party and special birthday cake.”

Debbie’s favourite memory of Julia is from the beginning of Covid when the country was in lockdown.

She could hear Julia singing God Save The Queen at the top of her voice.

Rosalind said: “It doesn’t seem like she is actually 108. She is so fit and strong, you forget she is that age.

“She has a lovely head of hair and lovely skin.

“She is also very strong – she can push herself around in her armchair."

During the pandemic, Julia caught Covid twice, however she battled it both times – demonstrating her strength.

Warrington Guardian:

Rosalind also said how Julia has always been patriotic.

To celebrate the amazing milestone, staff at Brampton Lodge held a party for Julia where she was joined by fellow residents, her daughter Rosalind, and the deputy mayor Cllr Jean Flaherty.

A singer and pianist also attended to entertain the residents.

Julia received a card from the Queen along with many others, including one of her previous neighbours from Kenya.

She was treated to a cake, cupcakes and some new clothes – as well as a few bottles of red wine.