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Morag Kinniburgh reports
"She believes in keeping busy and refuses to retire"
 real 56k

Sunday, 1 July, 2001, 08:35 GMT 09:35 UK
Volunteering for a long life
Lady Hilda Morton volunteers to work for the National Trust for Scotland.
Lady Hilda Morton volunteers for the National Trust
Lady Hilda Morton has no plans to retire - even though she has just celebrated her 100th birthday.

The centenarian says the secret of a long and happy life is to keep busy and refuse to retire.

And Lady Hilda continues to practice what she preaches by working as a volunteer for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS).

The teetotal non-smoker is a volunteer guide at Edinburgh's Georgian House.


My motto is never say die - and I think I'm living up to it

Lady Hilda Morton
She said: "If I were doing what people think I should be doing, I'd be sitting doing nothing - waiting to die. It's as simple as that.

"But my motto is never say die - and I think I'm living up to it."

She started work as an ambulance driver in World War Two, and motoring and volunteering have been her life's passions.

Lady Hilda shows no signs of giving up either of them as she still drives herself to work.

She is one of the unpaid workers on whom the NTS relies to keep many properties open.

Trust workers

But even in the year of the volunteer, the organisation admits that it does not know how many people are donating their time.

Julian Burchall of the NTS said: "We have a vague idea that between 2,500 and 3,000 people are working in some part of the trust every year.

"We don't actually know how many.

"It's one of my tasks to find out, to make certain we thank them all, and to encourage more people to come and do this work in the future."

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