Margaret Fish, at 111, has become the oldest known female in the country following the death of Elsie Steele on Monday.
Mrs Fish, who lives at Danecroft residential home in Wilstead, has lived through three centuries.
When asked how she feels about becoming Britain’s oldest woman, Mrs Fish said: “There’s not a scrap of difference. It just happened.” And she said the secret to such a long life is: “Go steady.” Mrs Fish, who is now a supercentenarian, has two daughters - Barbara, 73, and Elsie, 71. She was born in Tower Hamlet, London, in 1899, the same year that the paperclip was invented and Coca-Cola was first bottled in America.
The average weekly wage was £4.62 and the population of Britain was 29 million.
Mrs Fish, who worked as a dress-maker, met Frank who was in the army during the First World War and they married in 1928.
They moved up to Bedfordshire during the Second World War bombings and after her husband died, Mrs Fish lived independently at her home in Cople till she was 104.
Daughter Barbara said: “The amazing thing is she doesn’t take any pills.”