EAST Lancashire’s most celebrated centenarian has marked her 106th birthday.

Alice Horne, thought to be the nation’s oldest living freeman, turned 106 on Wednesday.

Alice, of Oswaldtwistle, was awarded the honour of Freedom of the Borough in 2005 in recognition of her extensive charity work, and is thought to be the oldest woman in East Lancashire.

Oswaldtwistle councillor Peter Britcliffe was among those who called on Alice to pay his respects. He said: “Alice is a local treasure, and is so lively and still in such good spirits.

“People from the community have been dropping by to say hello all day because she is so popular and well loved in Oswaldtwistle.”

Her friend Irene Barnes, of Oswaldtwistle, said: “She still goes out and has a look around Asda. When her niece and nephew took her out for her birthday, they took her to Asda first because they all know her in there! She just has an amazingly positive attitude.”

Alice said: “I have had an absoutely lovely day. It’s been wonderful seeing everyone, and getting flowers on my birthday.”

Alice, originally from Scotland, has led a remarkable life, having cheated death on several occasions. As a child she contracted polio, and during the Second World War she was buried under the rubble of a matchstick factory after the German blitz on Liverpool.

At the age of 50, an accident left her confined to a wheelchair, and in 2005 she was attacked by intruders who tried to steal from her home.

The plucky pensioner has spent many years working for charity and playing sports.

After learning to swim aged 70, she became involved with the Disabled Association for Sport in Hyndburn, taking part in javelin, bowling and darts events, and in 1986 she was named Britain’s most active pensioner.