A glass of red wine or total abstinence? Rigorous exercise or a daily walk? It seems that every day a new study is released offering the latest advice on how to live a long and healthy life, but with so many conflicting views available it's sometimes hard to keep up.

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So what do you do when every self proclaimed dietician or scientist is offering a dozen alternative views on the recipe to longevity? Why not take a look at the evidence, and take a cue from these centenarians...

Caroline Trickey


Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 15 March 1930© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

"If you want to live to be a hundred be happy and satisfied. I have always tried to keep in the best of spirits. I've been contented with my lot, and never eat more than I want."

And there's one more thing we can all take away from Caroline Trickey's schedule:

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 15 March 1930© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Fanny Daniel

North Devon Journal - Thursday 28 October 1926© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The North Devon Journal reported that:

'In answer to a question as to her views on modern inventions, Miss Daniel laughingly remarked that they were "all very wonderful," and informed us that the first ride she had in a motorcar was last March, and she heard the wireless for the first time a few weeks ago. "This wireless," she added, "is a funny thing, but I reckon it's all wonderful."'

She advised that "Early rising, plenty of hard work, and plenty of good food, are the things that make you live to a good old age… I have always had substantial food- my people used to kill a bullock for the house, so you see I lived well."

Sophia Ellis

Cornishman - Wednesday 14 September 1927© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

"My breakfast consists of two pieces of bread and butter, with a cup of tea; for dinner I have meat and vegetables, sometimes a pasty; bread and butter for tea, and a cup of tea after I am in bed. We hear a lot about the injurious effect of tea, but I have been a tea-drinker all my life."

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When asked to what she attributed her long life, Sophia Ellis said: "Hard work and plain living".

"I was left with seven children after my husband died, and it was a battle to get along. It meant hard work. This is the secret to health and long life. You can take it from me."

Elizabeth Ferris

Bristol Evening Post - Wednesday 8 March 1939© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

"I don't mind smoking," said 104 year old Elizabeth Ferris, "although I have never smoked myself. I often make fun of girls who use lipstick and powder, though I don't suppose they do any real harm." Though her eyes weren't good enough for reading, she did have the Evening Post read to her every day.

Zaro Agha

Perhaps the most unusual of our list, Zara Agha was allegedly one of the world's longest living humans. Born in Turkey, Agha claimed to have fought in six wars, including the Battle of Plevna when he was 100. He spent his post- centennial years touring Britain and the US.

Dundee Evening Telegraph - Friday 29 June 1934© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

According to the Dundee Evening Telegraph, Agha didn't smoke or drink and ate a largely vegetarian diet. Dr Serge Voronoff asked him to take part in his controversial monkey gland treatment, which claimed to rejuvenate the patient by injecting tissue from a primate's testicles, but Agha refused, stating that he "never felt younger".

Agha died at the alleged age of 160. Doctors suggested he was at least 40 years younger, but the truth is still unknown.

Bridget Henley

Perhaps the soundest piece of advice comes from 102 year old Bridget Henley…

Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian - Saturday 7 October 1933© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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