Betty gets a card from namesake

Betty Stafford, who was 100 on Monday, with her daughter Marlene and grandson Gavin.
Betty Stafford, who was 100 on Monday, with her daughter Marlene and grandson Gavin.

Betty Stafford has throughly enjoyed her 100 years on the planet, and she says that is her secret to long life.

Betty, whose family joined her for her century celebrations at her home in St Ronan’s House in Innerleithen, told us: “You’ve got to be happy with the hand you’re dealt.”

Betty Stafford, who was 100 on Monday, with her daughter Marlene Davies and grandson Gavin Davies. Rear row, Betty's second cousin Andrew Brown and his wife Fiona, with Marlene's husband Douglas Davies.

Betty Stafford, who was 100 on Monday, with her daughter Marlene Davies and grandson Gavin Davies. Rear row, Betty's second cousin Andrew Brown and his wife Fiona, with Marlene's husband Douglas Davies.

“Keeping busy and active is also important,” added Betty, who has indeed kept herself busy throughout the years, volunteering for the WRVS and Red Cross, as well as being a proud member of the SWRI.

Betty was born in St Boswells on January 8, 1918, when the country was in the grip of the First World War, to Frank and Bessie Gibson.

The family soon moved to Carolside on the outskirts of Earlston, where Frank was employed as the groom. However, Betty didn’t put her motto into use at Earlston Primary School.

“I hated it,” she said.

But she buckled down when she began working at the local post office.

She said: “I had to pass my civil service exam, so I could be posted to the head office in Galashiels, where they are putting the tapestry.”

Betty won the heart of Jock Stafford, and the pair were married after the war, in 1945.

The couple moved to Earlston, where together, they ran the retail side of the local dairy, during which time they had a daughter, Marlene.

After Jock died in 1993, Betty moved closer to where Marlene stayed, at Skirling, near Biggar, and latterly she moved to the SB Cares facility in Innerleithen, where, staff say, she is a model resident, who enjoys taking in the garden views, joining in singing groups and visits from her family – she has two grandsons and three great grandsons, and is often visited by her extended family.

Her family was there on Monday to help her celebrate her milestone. They watched as she proudly opened her card from the Queen.

“Thank you Queen,” she laughed. “She could have put a fiver in it, though!”