EDNA Harrison was surprised’ to be celebrating her 100th birthday after surviving two world wars and a string of serious illnesses as a child.

Edna Harrison, who lives at Brandwood sheltered housing in Waterfoot was born just a few months before the outbreak of the First World War and contracted diphtheria as a youngster.

Edna said: “If something was going round I’d be the first to get it.

“I was always ailing or suffering from something. You name it and I’ve had it.”

Despite her childhood illnesses, Edna is now in remarkably good health for her age.

She said: “People tell me I don’t look 100 years old, and in truth I don’t feel a day over 70.

“It’s not every day you get to reach 100, thank goodness.”

Edna lived in Rawtenstall for many years and married Jack Harrison, who delivered pickles and preserves across East Lancashire.

On Jack’s death 25 years ago, Edna concentrated on her hobby of painting watercolours and became an accomplished artist. Many of her works hang on the walls at Brandwood.

Among her birthday party guests was the Mayor of Rossendale, Coun Amanda Robertson, who said: “Mrs Harrison is a remarkable woman who is enjoying a long and colourful life.

“She appears very surprised to have reached 100 but we are all absolutely delighted for her.”