Amazing Violet just keeps on blooming

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She cooks and bakes, grows her own veg, knits for charity, watches football on telly, reads thrillers and looks decades younger than her 102 years.

Born on January 27, 1911, Violet Scahill has no doubts about why she has lived such a long and healthy life, staying at home with Smokey her cat and loving every minute of it.

“Old-fashioned food,” said Violet. “Stew, steak, steak pie, home-made soup, fruit loaf. I had to do everything for myself and a lot for others. I can still go upstairs myself, dress myself, wash myself.

“I really have too much to do and not enough time to do it.”

When one of Violet’s great-grandchildren told her classmates she had a great- granny who was 102, they didn’t believe her.

And if they saw the woman herself in person they would find it even harder to believe – she looks amazing for her 100 plus years.

“Wee Vi” as she is known, had not been told The Falkirk Herald was coming to chat to her and promptly gave the “Secret Service”, namely granddaughters Michelle Courtney (43) and Samantha Cartwright (45), an earful for not spilling the beans.

Born in Glasgow, she has lived in Grangemouth’s Old Town since she was a pupil at Zetland School in the first quarter of the 20th century.

“I was about a year old when the Titanic sank,” she said. “I’ve lived through two World Wars and I’ve seen a lot of changes in Grangemouth.”

Her husband Daniel, a seaman, sadly died in 1945, but not before the couple had a son together, Danny, who started off the extended family Violet now has regular visits from – grandchildren Michelle, Samantha, Darren Cartwright and Dawn Cassidy, and five great-grandchildren – Rochelle (12), Cody and Abby (9) and Daniel and Hayden (7).

“I love to see them all coming in, but you also love to see them go out the door again too,” laughed Violet. “The great-grandchildren are a handful, but they are all well behaved.”

A lifelong Rangers fan – even in the hard times – Violet cherishes the letter she received from ‘Gers legend and current manager Ally McCoist to mark her 100th birthday, even more than the card she received from the Queen – although she admits it was a close run thing.

The family had a scare last year when Violet contracted pneumonia just before her birthday. Thankfully she bounced back to full fitness, but the illness put paid to her ‘101 Dalmatians’-themed party.

There were no such setbacks this year and Violet was back in place as the star attraction at her annual lunch date in the Grange Manor, surrounded by scores of family and close friends.

“I suppose I have nine lives like a cat and a guardian angel watching over me too. You’ve got to stay at home for as long as you are able. Keep yourself active, keep yourself going, read books, do word searches.”

No soppy romances for Violet – she loves a good thriller and counts Mary Higgins Clark as her favourite novelist.

“I love books where you don’t know what happens until the very last page.”