ONE of the oldest women in the News area celebrated her 101st birthday on September 2.

Long-standing Aldershot resident Peggy Bowtle toasted her special day surrounded by friends and relatives at her new home — Thurlston House in Victoria Hill Road, Fleet.

She has been living at the home since March. Before that she lived for many years in Dragoon Court, Aldershot.

One of seven children, Peggy was born in Burnfort, County Cork — not far from the famous Blarney Stone.

The farmer's daughter married husband Ted in London in November 1939.

The couple lived in the East End during the Second World War when they had three daughters, Margaret, who lives in America, Doris, who lives in Saffron Walden, Essex, and Pat, who lives in Weybourne, Farnham.

And the secret of a long life? "A little of what you fancy," said Peggy.

"I like a drop of brandy when I feel like it."

However, longevity runs in the family, as Peggy's sister Nora Walsh, who lives in America, was 104 in July.

"Peggy really is brilliant," said Jenny Lewis, unit manager at Thurlston House. "She's as bright as a button."