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Weymouth Olympic star Bryony's 'Grannie Annie' hits 100
‘GRANNY Annie’, the Weymouth grandmother of Olympic bronze medallist windsurfer Bryony Shaw is celebrating her 100th birthday today.
Annie Brown, affectionately known as ‘Granny Annie’, is particularly proud of her famous granddaughter who claimed Olympic bronze at the Beijing 2008 Games.
“It was about 7am in England and I woke her up. She’s a little hard of hearing so I was shouting ‘She’s got bronze mummy, she’s got the bronze’.
“She was absolutely thrilled, my father was a keen sportsman and on the army pentathlon team so we feel he too would have been terribly proud.
“Mum is always saying Bryony deserves it because she works so hard, all that training and dedication.
“She’s fiercely proud of her and as she has got older and frailer, Bryony is one of the few people she really lights up for.”
The grandmother-of-four’s big birthday comes just 10 days after former Budmouth College schoolgirl Bryony won bronze at the borough’s Olympic sailing test event.
Hazel added: “She was so pleased Bryony did so well at the test event.
“Bryony took the medal she won into the hospital to show Granny and she held it and said, ‘Isn’t it heavy’.”
Born in Fulham, London, on August 24, 1911, Annie Markham was a |28-week-old premature baby who was not expected to live.
Hazel said: “She was one of the first children to be kept alive by the modern invention called the incubator and she was even put in a big scientific exhibition in Crystal Palace.
“She was a small miracle and she’s had a very interesting and active life.”
Annie left school at 14 and became a presser then manager in a laundry.
She married Tom ‘Topper’ Brown in 1938, who became an officer during the Second World War.
Their daughter Hazel was born in 1947 and the family moved to Germany, then Hong Kong where their son Timothy was born.
They later ran a grocery shop in Wiltshire. Topper died 18 years ago and Hazel’s family and Granny Annie moved to Weymouth in 2001.
Annie, who was one of 10 children, has three younger sisters, Connie, Kath and Edna, who are all still alive.
Close family and friends will be celebrating her birthday with her.