FRIENDS of a woman who has no family have asked people to send her birthday cards for her 100th birthday.

Marjorie Ovens, of Newport, will be turning 100 tomorrow. Her friends and staff at the nursing home where she lives will be celebrating her birthday, but she would love to receive some cards from Argus readers.

When asked the secret to her longevity Mrs Ovens said: “I have lived a normal life, my parents were very ordinary folk and we had a happy home life. I think perhaps that has a lot to do with it.

“I had quite a normal diet, mostly my meals were quite ordinary and homely. We cooked for ourselves and my mother was a great cook. I only drank on occasions, but it never bothered me.”

She has no immediate family, and has lost touch with any living relatives.

Growing up in Christchurch, her parents Minnie and Albert Sparry, owned a shop on Christchurch Road where Mrs Ovens worked.

“It’s so different now,” she said about the area where she grew up. “It was very quiet and peaceful. You would look forward to things at the church and at the school because not a lot was going on there.

“You had the occasional car going by, but everything is on a bigger scale now.

“Newport has changed and is still changing every week. Things are not like they used to be. I honestly think the kindness is going out of life and I think that’s rather sad.

“When I was a child you were always taught to share everything. You never thought of locking your door against anyone, but you wouldn’t dare do that now.”

Mrs Ovens met her husband Eric Ovens when attending church in Malpas. They married when she was 24, but Mr Ovens died suddenly 20 years ago. “I don’t know what I would have done without Eric, we were very happy.”

On her birthday her friends will help her celebrate and the care home where she lives will make her a cake and sandwiches. She is also looking forward to receiving her letter from the Queen.

“I’m stunned to be reaching 100, I never thought I would reach this age.”

Anyone who thinks they might be related to Mrs Ovens should ring 01633 777005. Cards can be sent to Eleanor Hodson House, Lodge Road, Caerleon, Newport, NP18 3QZ.