How an apple pie and a cup of coffee a day helped a Barnet great-grandmother make it to 100

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Times Series: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter - north London

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away – add some pastry and that rings true for one grandmother, who swears apple pie and coffee helped her reach 100.

Pauline Golding toasted the landmark birthday surrounded by friends and family at Shine House, Ballards Lane, East Finchley

Before moving into the sheltered housing estate, she would spend her days in Brent Cross Shopping Centre before unwinding in McDonald’s for her “usual”.

She got to know the staff over the years – so they surprised her by turning up to her party with a steaming mug of her favourite tipple, one of their apple pies and some flowers.

Her son Eric said: “It was incredible, we had no idea how they found out about her birthday and it made her so happy.

“The party was wonderful. Living so long must be in her genes – her first cousin is 93 and her brother is 101.”

Mrs Golding was born in Soho and grew up in both the East and West End, before moving to Southgate with her husband, Joe, whom she married in 1939.

The couple met when a young Joe, a salesman, walked into the dressmakers where Pauline worked and she told her friends ‘that’s the man I’m going to marry’.

They had one son, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, and lived a long and happy life together before Joe died in 1994.

Mr Golding added: “One little story she used to tell me is that there was a grocery store across the road to where she grew up, who had a cow.

“Her father used to get a glass of milk directly from the cow each morning. It’s one of her favourite memories.

“She’s an amazing lady and still going strong. She’s very strong willed and you’d have no idea she was 100. We’re all so proud of her."

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