A lonely pensioner spent her birthday with 40 strangers after urging people to come to her home so she wasn’t alone – when she turned 100.
Nellie Osborn has no immediate family and has been living alone since her second husband died of a stroke more than 30 years ago.
Sadly, most of her pals have either passed away or moved to different areas and Nellie was worried she might spend her birthday last Sunday alone – with only her Jack Russell terrier Scruff for company.
She has decided to open her home to strangers in the hope someone pops by and wishes her happy birthday.
Nellie, who also suffers from dementia, said: “I am looking forward to people visiting me.”
As a teenager she sold ice creams at the cinema and married her first husband Robert at 19.
But she now 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.
She said: “I want to get up and get about again.
“I don’t like being hemmed in.”
The soon-to-be centenarian is visited every day by her neighbour Christine Todd, 72, as well as loyal friend Deryck Sutton, 81, who visits weekly her in Canterbury, Kent, from his home in Ashford.
Nellie ran an automobile business with Robert and made a living buying and selling houses before they moving back to Canterbury where she has lived for over 40 years.
After Robert died in 1979 Nellie married Cyril Osborn a year later before he died of a stroke more than 30 years ago.
She displaced her hips two years ago and has to wear a knee brace and must wait until till the weather turns before stepping outside so keeps herself busy with knitting.
Nellie, who opened her home on Sunday between 2pm and 4pm, added: “A couple of hours should be all right but I can’t do much more than that anymore.”
“It was a 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 when I was a financial adviser and gave her two cheques from her insurance company.
“I came back a few days later to see how she was doing and she seemed quite pleased to see me so I’ve continued to visit her ever since.”