A FORMER midwife who worked in Thornhill House in Johnstone has celebrated a major birthday. 

Pearl Todd, who worked at the maternity hospital, turned an impressive 104 on Wednesday, September 27.

Born in 1919, the centenarian who is originally from outside Airdrie, has claimed the secret to living so long is down to "hard work and prayer".

The Gazette:

Pearl, who now lives in Ranfurly Care Home in Johnstone, said: "Hard work and prayer is my motto for living so long.

"That's what will keep you going."

On top of that, the former healthcare professional said never drinking or smoking is also a secret to living forever. 

Looking ahead to the future, Pearl is looking forward to her 105th birthday, even saying: "I'm living to 200."

However, having lived through a world war, several monarchs, and a pandemic, Pearl said she has had a "hard life".

The Gazette:

She said: "I've had a hard life but that's what kept me going. I enjoyed my work though."

The 104-year-old's working life started out when she was a teenager.

Pearl said: "I worked on a farm since I was 13 - it was down in Inverkip.

"What was hard work then is not hard work now - you could do it with your eyes shut."

The Gazette:

After working on farms, the keen worker stepped into nursing and became a midwife in the old Thornhill House.

Pearl then stepped into the world of medical care after a woman spoke to her about it when working at a farm.

During her time as a midwife, Pearl delivered hundreds of children, while she also loved looking after people.

She said: "The funny thing is when I came in here [the care home], the girl that does my hair, her mother was a patient at Thornhill and had a wee boy."

The Gazette:

Pearl said she was the one who delivered him, saying: "I didn't know that until her mother asked who I was, and she said: 'Tell that wee woman I know her - she's a damn good nurse' - that was me she was talking about."

Throughout her life, the keen worker strived to work, which she said is another secret to living long.

During her time, she got married in 1939 and had five children - four boys and one girl, however, her daughter tragically died in her 30s with cancer.

On top of her kids, Pearl also had a younger brother.

She said: "I only had one brother and he died, he was my younger brother and was a good fella who was in the Navy."

Now, the centenarian is also a great-gran and a great-great-gran.

The Gazette:

According to Pearl, one of the most exciting times in her life was when she got married to her husband, John.

As part of her birthday celebrations, Pearl was treated to a pamper day.