WHEN Bertha Wright reached her 100th birthday, it came as no surprise to her.
The answer had been in the palm of her hand all along.
Known to all as Toots, she spent more than 40 years reading palms – and has raised thousands of pounds for charity.
When she read her own palm when she was younger, she says she knew she would live to be 100.
Now Toots, who lives in Lordshill, Southampton, has reached the landmark. Her 100th birthday party saw more than 60 of her family and friends mark the occasion, some travelling from as far as Dubai.
Her son Ken told the Daily Echo that Toots is widely known in Hampshire as “Lady Flanella”, because many people believe her gift was a “load of old flannel”.
Fundraiser Toots took up palm reading in 1956 when she was asked to help out at a fete at St Jude Church in Shirley Warren.
Her psychic gifts became a feature of fetes across Hampshire for more than 40 years, and in the process raised thousands of pounds for cancer charities, her son Ken believes.
Although she retired from palm reading ten years ago, she still enjoys doing it as a hobby. Her skills have left those who know her amazed.
Neighbour and friend Mary Sheppard, 75, said: “I think her talent is absolutely magnificent.
I do not know how she does it. What is amazing is how she is always spot on with her readings.”
Toots was born on the Wirral in Merseyside in 1913 where she worked as a dance teacher.
She married her husband Bill Wright in 1937. They moved south to Totton in 1938, and then later to Lordswood in 1946.
Ken was born in 1947, and Toots co-owned a wool shop in Portswood. Bill died in 1974. Toots still lives independently and enjoys playing cards, reading palms and keeping up with the news.
So what is her secret to making the most of life?
She said: “Make every day count. Make each day in life important in some way.
Sometimes it affects others, sometimes it affects just you.
The future is in your hands.”