‘A good laugh every day’ – Care home resident reveals the secret to a long life on her 103rd birthday

A care home resident in Edinburgh has shared the secret for living a long and happy life on her 103rd birthday. 

 A very special birthday celebration took place when resident at Care UK’s Murrayside, on South Beechwood, Andrewina Bickerton, known by friends as Ina, turned 103 years ‘young’.  

 To mark the occasion, Ina revealed her secret was “a good laugh every day”.   


To celebrate, the team and Ina’s niece, Catherine, visited the Queen Charlotte Rooms for a special afternoon tea in the city centre.  

 The home also hosted a party with Ina’s friends at the home, the lounge was decorated with balloons and banners, and the home’s talented head chef baked a special birthday cake for everyone to enjoy.  


Ina was born on 5th December 1920 and lived in Pleasance on the south side of Edinburgh. After leaving school, Ina worked in several roles, including as a florist, silver service waitress and a ‘clippie’ on the tram, where she would collect tickets. While working as a waitress at the Royal Highland Centre, she was particularly good at remembering guests’ favourite food and drinks, offered them as much fish and chips, and scones, as they could manage, and often went home with pockets filled with tips.  

In 1943, Ina married her late husband, John, who she met through her brother Jim. John was in the navy which meant the couple would often go on holiday to different locations – something Ina always enjoyed. The couple had one son, John.   

Ina said: “Speak up I’m 103!” much to everyone’s amusement. Commenting on the day, she said: “It’s been a lovely!” 


Suzanne Welsh, Home Manager at Murrayside, said: “Residents are at the heart of everything we do here at Murrayside, and we always like to celebrate special occasions – and Ina’s 103rd birthday was no exception. 

 “It was wonderful to take Ina into Edinburgh for a special afternoon tea to mark this wonderful occasion. We were inundated with birthday cards, including one from the King, which Ina particularly enjoyed – and everyone at the home made sure she was treated like royalty herself. It was lovely to raise a glass to Ina on her special day.”  


Murrayside care home has been specially designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence. The care home incorporates space for hobby and leisure activities, and has its own cinema, hair salon and café.
 To find out more about Murrayside, please contact Customer Relations Manager, Cliona Robertson, on 0131 516 2487, or email cliona.robertson@careuk.com   

 For more general information, please visit careuk.com/murrayside