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105-year-old Kingston Vale resident reveals the secret to a long life

December 13th 2019

105th birthday 2A resident at a care home in Kingston Vale celebrated her 105th birthday and revealed the secret to a long and happy life.

Birthday celebrations were in full swing at Care UK’s Sherwood Grange, on Robin Hood Lane, when resident, Rela Gowing, celebrated her birthday. Rela turned 105 years ‘young’ in November and believes the secret to a long life is walking every day and being a vegetarian.

To celebrate her milestone birthday, Rela was joined by family, friends and residents for a party at the care home. Everyone toasted Rela’s good health with a glass of wine and tucked into a slice of birthday cake.

Rela was born in 1914, in Krakow, Poland, before moving to the UK in 1938 where she lived in and around London, and became a nurse at St George’s Hospital at Hyde Park Corner. It was here she met her husband, Professor Noel Gowing. Together they had one daughter, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Rela enjoys the theatre, opera, photo exhibitions and is well-travelled, having visited China, Mexico, Egypt, India and the USA. While she was in America she was trusted to look after a young member of the Kennedy family while their mother went to the bathroom. She also speaks three languages, including Polish and German.

Rick Mayne, home manager at Sherwood Grange, said: “We love to celebrate all residents here at Sherwood Grange, especially on their birthdays, so it was terrific to be able to commemorate an occasion as special as Rela’s 105th birthday.

“It was so fantastic to see Rela enjoying this incredible milestone with her family and friends. She is quite a character, and has built lovely friendships with residents and the team since moving here, so it was wonderful to raise a glass to her on this special occasion.”

Sherwood Grange is a state-of-the-art care home which provides full-time residential and dementia care, as well as short-term respite care. Designed to enable residents to live enjoyable and fulfilling lives, the care home has its very own cinema and hair salon, and there is plenty of space, both indoors and out, for relaxation and recreation.

To find out more about Sherwood Grange, please call home manager, Rick Mayne, on 0333 920 1017, or email  

For more general information about Sherwood Grange, please visit


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Our state-of-the-art purpose-built care home in Kingston Vale in South West London provides a wide range of quality care in stunning surroundings. At Sherwood Grange we provide round-the-clock residential care for older people, plus short-term respite care and specialist care for people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. We were delighted to be rated ‘good’ by the CQC at our most recent inspection.

Sherwood Grange
1a Robin Hood Lane
Kingston Vale
Greater London
SW15 3PU

0333 321 1996

  • Dementia care
  • Residential care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care