IT’S quite rare these days to find someone who can claim they’ve lived through two world wars and the coronavirus pandemic and is still going strong.

But Margaret Walton, a resident in Blackburn’s Hazledene Care Home, can hold her head high and say, ‘I have’.

The born and bred Blackburn lass turned 103 on Friday, and according to care home staff, ‘is as fit as a fiddle’.

Natalie Vernon, who helps take care of Mrs Walton at Hazledene, said: “She’s so excited to be turning 103.

“And to see herself in her favourite paper will be so uplifting for her.

“She is the life of our parties and will always be the one dancing the longest, with her favourite dance move being the ‘bum wiggle’. “

Mrs Walton is a true Blackburnian and has lived in the town all her life.

Before moving to her most recent home in Sunny Bower Road, she lived in Balaclava Street, and worked as a confectioner at Swifts, but during the war she had to take her father’s job in Thomas Groceries when he was called up.

It was while on holiday in the Isle of Man that she met Harry Walton, who went on to become her husband.

The couple had four children - twins Helen and Linda, and then son Brian and daughter Denise, as well as seven grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren - and another one on the way.

Ms Vernon added: “Margaret has the best personality here at Hazeldene, she is cheeky and loves to give everyone a cuddle.

“She is such a kind, loving person, who will often ask staff to come and tell her their problems so she can give them kisses or cuddles and tell them her advice.

“Her daughter Denise said she was a keen sewer and if it wasn’t for her they wouldn’t have had any clothes as kids.

“Her favourite singers are Perry Como, Bing Crosby, and Glenn Miller's band.

“She really does love to help people and loves her family dearly and speaks so highly of them all.

“She says, ‘I am a lucky girl to have such an amazing family’.”

Because of lockdown restrictions, Hazledene Care Home organised for Mrs Walton’s family to sit at the front door and sing happy birthday to her, while she enjoyed cake and a party inside.