A NEWPORT woman is looking forward to celebrating her 100th birthday next month - alongside her 108-year-old sister.

Lil Thomas, originally from Pill, celebrates her landmark birthday on Tuesday, December 3. In most families this would be a once-in-a-generation event - but for the Thomas' this is par for the course, as Ms Thomas' sister Amy Winifred, known as 'Winnie', got there first, and is still going strong at 108.

On Thursday the sisters met up ahead of next month's big day, and reminisced about the past century - and beyond.

Lil Thomas was born in Windmill Court - on the site of what is now Pill Asda - and remembered how their family struggled with money, and would often rely on homemade food as it was cheaper than going to the shops.

“We had a couple of chickens, so we knew that we had eggs if nothing else,” she said. “We had no money but plenty of life”.

Their six brothers all went on to become either sailors or work in the navy - while Lil Thomas became the first female bus conductor in Wales during the Second World War. After the war she went on to become an entertainer, and would often perform at Newport's Empire Theatre - singing, tap dancing and playing the accordion.


“I had a pitch perfect voice at the age of two,” she said.

“I call myself the untrained Katherine Jenkins”.

Lil Thomas kept on dancing until the age of 77, while her sister was known as 'the highest kicker in Wales'.

And there's been plenty of new experiences over the past century. Lil remembers going to McDonald's for the first time - on her 93rd birthday - and, as he slogan say, lovin' it.

Despite having had arthritis for the past few years, Ms Thomas said she hasn't let that get in the way of enjoying her life and doing as much as she can.

“It’s no good not smiling,” she said. “I’ve had a life very few have had, and I’ve enjoyed every moment.

“I’m the luckiest woman in the world. I've had a wonderful life”.