A WOMAN who is believed to be Swanage’s oldest resident has celebrated her 106th birthday.

Sarah Lilian Priest, known to friends and loved ones as Lilian, enjoyed a party on Friday, November 7, attended by her daughter, Wendy, the Mayor of Swanage, Ali Stewart, and Rev Mark Hatto, the minister of Emmanuel Baptist Church, amongst others.

Mrs Priest, who lives at York House Care Home, says that there is no secret to reaching the age of 106, people should just ‘Live the life that you like to live.’ She added: “I’ve had good health all my life so I think that I will go on for quite a while yet.”

Lilian moved to Bournemouth aged 18 to work in a friend’s bed and breakfast for six months, moving to the south coast from Monmouthshire in south Wales, and never returned to live at home afterwards.

When reflecting on her age, she said: “I have not given in. I used to play the piano and sing a lot, but I can’t do that now as the voice that comes out is all croaky, but I can still remember all the words.”

“It’s been a happy life and my husband and I travelled a lot. When I lay in bed at night, I have a lot of different places and things that I have seen to look back on.”

Beverley Fluin, registered manager of York House Care Home, said: “According to the local GPs, she is the oldest resident on their books.

“She is wonderful, just lovely. She never complains or makes a fuss and is very independent. She doesn’t use any kind of hearing aids and although she is registered as blind, she needs very little help from the staff and gets herself up, washed and dressed every morning.

“She’s just an amazing lady.”