A BLAENAVON resident celebrated her 103rd birthday on Saturday.

Sylvia Howells marked the impressive landmark at the Arthur Jenkins Care Home, where she lives, with her daughter Veronica Gray.

And in celebration of her birthday the care home laid on a musical performance for Mrs Howells and her fellow residents on Friday. Mrs Howells was also visited by Cllr Alan Parry from Blaenavon Town Council, who stopped by to wish her a happy birthday.

Mrs Howells was born in the town in 1916, before moving to London aged 16 to find work as a housekeeper. She returned home when the war broke out, holding jobs in North Wales, Bristol and Weston-super-Mare.

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Mrs Gray described her mother as being a "very active lady", and said she was "active within the church," where she met her late husband, Glyn.

They married at 26, and were together for 60 years before Mr Howells' death. They had one daughter, one granddaughter and two great-granddaughters.

Mrs Gray said, growing up, her mum was "an excellent cook."

Sylvia Howells celebrating her 103rd birthday with Cllr Alan Parry at Arthur Jenkins Care Home, Blaenavon. christinsleyphotography.co.uk

"She would make gorgeous apple pies," she said. "I don't know how she would do it, but I have never tasted any as good as hers."

But what's the secret to such a long life? Mrs Gray said her mother had always kept active.

"She's a truly remarkable woman for her age," she said. "Her sister lived in to her 90s, but none of the family have lived as long as mum.

"She was a very active lady and was involved in a number of organisations in the community when she was younger. She only started to slow down after my dad died."