OVINGHAM'S oldest resident was treated to a complimentary afternoon tea by M&S to mark her birthday.

Jean Taylor celebrated her 102nd on June 1.

And as part of festivities, she and family had lunch at the Hexham branch.

“Jean is such a loyal customer here at M&S Hexham", said Vicky Stephenson, store manager at M&S Hexham. "So when we heard about her milestone birthday, we had to celebrate and it seemed fitting to organise a special afternoon tea in our Café for her very special 102nd birthday.

"We were thrilled that she loved her birthday treat so much – many happy returns Jean, from the whole team at M&S Hexham.”

Jean, born Jane Thompson, was brought up in Newcastle and survived almost nightly air raids as the Germans targeted the Vickers Armstrong Munitions Factory.

She moved to Ovington in 1953, before settling in Ovingham with husband George.

The couple met at a dance and were happily married. They had one daughter, Maureen, who went on to be a teacher.

Jean was an excellent ballroom dancer and renewed her interest in dancing after George died – she was still dancing well into her 90s.

She was also a keen fundraiser in her younger years, raising money for children’s charities and Christian Aid. She also attended church and chapel.

Despite her age, Jean lives independently in a house she’s lived in since it was built. Until aged 80, she would often get the bus into Newcastle.

Jean celebrated her milestone birthday with a meal at the White Swan pub in Ovingham, having had a scaled-back, lockdown 100th celebration.

When asked the secret to a long life, she told the Courant it was dancing and a bit of sherry!