ONE of the district's oldest residents has celebrated her 106th birthday.

Margaret Cottis, who is a resident at Braintree's New Deanery care home, was thrown a party by staff to mark her special day.

Care home finance director Jo Moore performed several of Margaret's favourite songs during the celebrations.

Activities manager Jo Whitehouse said: "Margaret is an amazing woman who has lived life to the full and continues to do so.

"She is bright, articulate and still young at heart.

"Reaching 106 is a real achievement and we feel privileged to take care of Margaret.

"Our ‘singing director’ Jo Moore learned ‘You raise me up’ by Catherine Jenkins and some songs from the musicals especially, and we made her favourite lemon drizzle cake to celebrate.”

Margaret was born in Lindsell, near Dunmow, in 1914.

She moved to Copford at the age of two and was raised by her mother after her father was killed in the First World War.

Margaret trained to become a nanny under a Norland nurse when she was 16 and worked for seven years until she met her husband and had her two children.

She developed a passion for handicrafts and cross-stitching and loved swimming so much that she only stopped when she was 90 when she could no longer find anyone to take her.

Margaret, who moved to the New Deanery last year, said: “It’s worth being 106, the day was so wonderful.

"I’m so grateful, I don’t know how to thank everybody.

"Good health to all."