‘Smiling and dancing’ is secret to long life of Gants Hill 100-year-old

Pauline Shoop celebrates her 100th birthday with her daughters Jacqui Federman, left and Sheryl Haki

Pauline Shoop celebrates her 100th birthday with her daughters Jacqui Federman, left and Sheryl Hakimi. - Credit: Archant

Pauline Shoop, of Gants Hill, celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends, as they revealed the former dressmaker’s secret to a long life is “smiling and dancing”.

Daughter Jacqui said: “She’s an inspiration to all of us. She’s always enjoyed life.

“She loves dancing and will always get up to give someone a dance. If you ask anyone that’s what they’ll say keeps her going, smiling and dancing.”

Pauline was born in Hackney. Her parents had emigrated from Russia to London in 1899 and married shortly after.

She was the youngest of seven with one brother and five sisters.

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Having left school at the age of 14, Pauline worked picking up pins in a dressmaking workshop before becoming a dressmaker in several factories across London, including The Workshop in Richmond Road, Hackney.

Pauline met her future husband Ralph during the Second World War when they took shelter in the Astoria dancehall in Charing Cross Road during a bombing attack on London.

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They were married in 1941.

The couple enjoyed 22 years of marriage before Ralph died aged 50.

Pauline has four grandchildren and five great grandchildren, all of whom have enjoyed the family tradition of measuring their height progress against “little grandma” as successive generations have grown up.

Pauline lived in Hackney for 88 years before moving to Redbridge 12 years ago to be closer to her two daughters.

Friday’s party was held at her home in Beehive Lane.

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