Nellie Osborn celebrated her 100th birthday with almost 40 kind-hearted strangers
Nellie Osborn has been living on her own for more than 30 years, with only her pet Jack Russell, Scruff, for company.
A friend created leaflets to advertise the open house last Sunday, and people from across the neighbourhood in Canterbury, Kent, attended.
Guests said she was “on cracking form” for the heartwarming occasion, and was showered with gifts including cakes, chocolates, biscuits and flowers.
Nellie Osborn has been living on her own for more than 30 years with her pet Jack Russell Scruff
Friend Deryck Sutton, 81, and Christine Todd, 72, regularly visit Mrs Osborn.
She has recently been diagnosed with dementia but she was on cracking form and rose to the occasion
Deryck Sutton – Friend
Deryck said: “It was really successful. She has recently been diagnosed with dementia but she was on cracking form and rose to the occasion.
“There were 30 to 40 people who turned up to celebrate, including her step daughter Jane Smith and the local vet.
“I first met her in 1983.
Nellie with first husmand Robert Cann
“Sadly she had no relations other than her step-daughter so about two weeks before her birthday I produced a leaflet and handed it out so people would know Nellie was having an open house.
“Mostly it was people in her area.”
Guests brought personalised birthday cakes to the party, which also featured an array of nibbles.
Mr Sutton added: “There were three cakes, one that myself and Christine got made with the photo we used in the invite, it was lovely.
“Another couple produced a cake with Happy Birthday written on it and there was another cake which was just silver.”
Mrs Osborn’s second husband Cyril died of a stroke more than 30 years ago.
And Mrs Osborn told of how she was “looking forward to people visiting me”, adding: “A couple of hours should be all right but I can’t do much more than that anymore”.
Nellie with second husband Cyril Osborn
She used to run an automobile business with first husband Robert and made a living buying and selling houses across the UK before moving to Canterbury, where she has lived for more than 40 years.
Mrs Osborn was worried she might spend her 100th birthday alone.
After displacing her hips two years ago, she has to wait for better weather before leaving the house.
Mrs Osborn said: “I want to get up and get about again. I don’t like being hemmed in.”
She says that while she is able to make her own bed and make breakfast, she regrets not being able to take Scruff for proper walks.
The keen knitter got married to first husband Robert at 19 and sold ice creams at the cinema.