Edith Bowden was born in Seedley, Salford, in 1920 and grew up in a very difficult era just as the Spanish flu pandemic was ending. One hundred years later, she is patiently waiting for the next one to peter out so she can celebrate her centenary with loved ones, even if it's not on the elaborate scale she had originally hoped.

Known by many names - Ede, Edith, Edie, Nana Edie, Mum, Aunt Ede - to most she is simply "Stirrup". Now that she has outlived both her husbands, the use of her maiden name feels apt. In fact, Edith has outlived practically her whole generation and many from those beneath - a fact she attributes to her ability to "bounce back" from any misfortune. Besides her enviable resilience, another thing that keeps her young is her love of fun and laughter. Often spurred on by her ritual evening glass of wine (around which her doctor has organised her medical doses, at her insistence), her infectious laugh can lift up an entire room and she is never the first to stop.

In 1942 she married her first love, Ben Lloyd, a blue-eyed Dunkirk veteran who sadly died at the early age of 48. But she is lucky enough to have found love again and in 1976 married Ken Bowden - a childhood friend from Salford.

On his arm, they travelled the world and she seduced the Cannes film set with her bold outfits and deep brown eyes. Forty years later, the other contenders stood little chance against her when, egged on by family, she ran for the "glamorous granny" competition at a local fair in her new home in North Wales. While she is far too modest to apply one of her favourite adages to herself, she would often tell her favourite people: "If you've got it, flaunt it!"

Stirrup as a model.

These days, she enjoys endless cups of tea and conversations with her many friends, children, grandchildren, great and even great-great-grandchildren, watching the ducks drift down the river from her beautiful perched conservatory. Despite the loss of an eye to glaucoma and several open-heart surgeries, she continues to potter through the streets of her village. Her astounding memory, like a well-ordered pantry, is a source of wonder to her entourage.

There is nothing that Stirrup - who has a busier social life than many teenagers and still runs her own Facebook account from her iPad - likes more than a party, and she is known to hit the dance floor on special occasions, especially when Glenn Miller is playing "In the Mood". 

We're very lucky to have Stirrup as a member of our fabulous community of supporters, and we're incredibly touched that, rather than receiving gifts to mark her milestone birthday, she has asked her family and friends to donate to Ape Action Africa. She's already raised over £1,000 to help us care for our orphaned primates and we are hugely grateful!

If you'd like to help us wish Stirrup a very Happy 100th Birthday, please send us a 'centenary selfie'. Or you can donate to her birthday appeal here.