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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2007, 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK
Woman, 107, celebrating birthday
Victoria Southan
Victoria Southan said life was so much better now
One of the oldest people in Britain is celebrating her 107th birthday.

Victoria Southan, from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, used to nurse wounded soldiers in World War II.

Mrs Southan still lives on her own in her house in Streetly, and puts her long life down to drinking plenty of water.

She had seen Hitler come and go by the time she was 50, and was 69 when man landed on the Moon. The Labour party did not exist when she was born.

Dozens of cards

On the day she came into the world, 24 May 1900, the House of Lords enacted legislation which restricted the use of children in coal mines, raising the minimum age they could work from 12 to 13.

Mrs Southan is having lunch with friends to celebrate her milestone and has had dozens of cards and flowers from her daughter.

She said her secret for a long life was discovered one day while coming out of hospital.

She said: "The sister said, 'if you drink water at the rate when you're out of here as you have while you've had to stay with us, you'll live to be 100'."

Mrs Southan, who receives a card every year from the Queen, said she was looked after well, and life was so much better than it used to be.

She is still on her feet, and climbed into a radio car at breakfast time to do a live interview for BBC WM to mark her birthday.

Victoria puts her long life down to drinking lots of water

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