Houghton Regis centenarian still has all the right moves

Louisa Pearson with her treasured birthday card from the QueenLouisa Pearson with her treasured birthday card from the Queen
Louisa Pearson with her treasured birthday card from the Queen
The former Land Army girl was 100 on Sunday

Dancing queen Louisa Pearson celebrated a special birthday in style on Sunday.

The Abba fan spent her 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends at Sharnbrook Lodge in Houghton Regis.

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Born in Islington in 1922, the only girl in a family with three boys, Louisa left school at 14 to work in a bakery. She spent the first few days in her school uniform until she could save up for proper work clothes.

At the age of 19 she was called up to work in the Land Army during World War II, working on a farm in Peterborough.

"It was brilliant but hard work," she says. She still suffers pain to her back now from the effects of hand picking and harvesting potatoes. For Christmas she remembers the farmer giving her a chicken and fresh eggs to take home for the festive dinner and how pleased her family was, as a treat from food rationing. She helped her father grow vegetables in the family's garden to supplement their diet.

"I enjoyed working on the land because it was in the open air," she said.

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After the war, Louisa worked as a cleaner in hospitals and schools, while raising her daughter Angela. She also has two grandchildren.

Away from work she loved ballroom dancing and singing and can still be heard leading the sing songs at the Lodge. Her favourites include the Swedish super group, Take That and the Bee Gees, which a singer performed for her on Sunday. She also loves Cockney songs. "I'm a Cockney girl through and through," she said.

Louisa stayed independent in her home in Albion Street, Dunstable, until just after the first lockdown when she moved into the Lodge.

And she attributes her longevity to staying positive.

"I don't worry about a thing," she said. "You just have to keep going and living and smiling."

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An Arsenal fan, her family bought her a team shirt with 100 Pearson on the back, which is now one of her prized possessions, along with a 100th birthday card from the Queen.

The Lodge would like to thank pupils and staff from Cardinal Newman Catholic School, Luton and Dunstable Stagecoach and the year 3 class at St Vincent's Catholic primary who helped making the 100 cards and flowers Louisa received.

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