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Gorleston centenarian celebrates with a stripper

PUBLISHED: 10:41 09 April 2011

Frances Daniels who lives at St Edmunds Residential Home in Gorleston, celevrates her 100th birthday. Her son Tony Storey and daughter Joan Claxton travelled over from USA to be with her.

Frances Daniels who lives at St Edmunds Residential Home in Gorleston, celevrates her 100th birthday. Her son Tony Storey and daughter Joan Claxton travelled over from USA to be with her.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

WHILE most hundred-year -olds mark their milestone with a glass of sherry and a singalong, Frances Daniels celebrated with a strutting stripper.

Proving that you are never too old for a saucy giggle the centenarian clapped along while kissagram “copper” Johnny Bravo stripped to his boxer shorts.

Delighted residents at the St Edmunds seaside care home in Gorleston were reportedly stunned when the ordinary looking policeman launched into dance to a hip hop soundtrack.

The sexy surprise topped off a series of birthday events for Mrs Daniels who was joined by loving family who had travelled thousands of miles to help her celebrate.

She marked her big day on Friday with a meal at the Cliff Hotel with 28 loved ones, made extra special by a visit from her son Tony, daughter Joan and son-in-law Ken from their homes in Virginia, United States.

And it was the following day, at a celebration in St Edmund’s, that she and fellow residents received the surprise of their lives.

Manager at the home, Sue Harvey, said staff often organised a stripper for 100-year-olds and had done two before.

“He arrived and gave me a disc of his music that was very different to what had been playing before,” she said. “When he came walking in and the residents wondered what was wrong.

“Then he started dancing. Frances was really laughing and her family were clapping. I was sitting next to her and she kept saying ‘oh, how lovely’. He made a point of dancing around her but he didn’t strip off completely.”

It was just another experience to add to a long list for Frances, who credits staying healthy and old-fashioned food for her long life.

“I never had anything wrong with me until I was 91 and I only went to the hospital for the first time last year. I’ve never smoked and only drink in company, and I’ve always loved foods like pea soup, stew and beef pudding.”

One of five siblings, Frances went to Nelson School and started working at Arnolds aged 14 before heading over to Johnson’s where she was in the factory line making shirts and jeans.

After meeting at a skating rink in Wellington Pier, she married George Story in St Nicholas Church aged 18 and settled down to care for their first child, Joan, born a year later.

The couple survived the second world war, despite a close scrape with a football-sized piece of flint that fell through their roof after a bomb hit a nearby silk mill, and were briefly evacuated to Peterborough before returning to have their second child, Tony, in 1945.

After George died, Frances went on to work at The Garibaldi night club and the Ocean Room in Gorleston, where she was manager of a cleaning crew.

She married again, to Douglas Daniels in 1961, and they soon started starting making regular trips to see the children in America.

To fund the visits, Frances worked until she was 80 in the summer at a tea stall on Yarmouth sea front.

And it was following the death of Douglas in 1992 that just two years ago she moved from their council home to St Edmunds.

For Frances, who said she loved where she was, marking 100 years of life with a stripper was just one highlight in a list of many over those few days.

She said: “I’ve had a very happy childhood and lifetime and I’ve got friends and that’s always important.

“It’s just been a gorgeous week and it’s been wonderful. I’ve had such a happy time and it was so good to see my family.”

Stripper Johnny Bravo who travelled form Hunstanton for the booking added: “I’ve done it for an 85-year-old before but not a 100-year-old. I kept it pretty tame and she was a good sport – it was a good gig.”


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