Former ballroom dancing champ celebrates 100th birthday in Chigwell

A former ballroom dancing champion celebrated her 100th birthday in a Chigwell care home on Saturday.

Ann Harsant won several competitions with her late husband, Ern, before teaching young children.

Ann’s nieces and the Mayor of Redbridge Muhammed Javed, joined friends and staff for the party at Pinewood Care Home.

Ann said: “I can’t believe I am 100. The party was a great surprise and I really enjoyed myself. I have had a great life and have kept fit and active.”

Ann left school at 14 to work for a clothes chain in Oxford Circus, Peter Robinson.


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She married Ern in 1934 and the couple owned a haberdashery shop in Walthamstow before moving to South Woodford.

Ern passed away in 2003 and Ann moved into Pinewood, in Manford Way, two years ago.

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Care home manager Denise Brown said: “Ann had a wonderful day – everybody got up and danced and she loved watching them, saying it reminded her of when she enjoyed ballroom dancing.

“Ann is such a character and we are so proud to have her as part of our family here.”

The centenarian also received a telegram from the Queen on the day.

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