A great grandmother has celebrated a milestone birthday surrounded by family, friends and the Mayor of Merton.

Former teacher Elizabeth Mary Parsons - ‘Betty’ - marked her 100th birthday with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and her day was made even more special as the Mayor of Merton, councillor Marsie Skeete attended.

At a celebration at Cannizaro House in Wimbledon on November 25, Betty was wished happy birthday and thanked for years of dedication to teaching in schools in the borough including at Ursuline Convent High School and Wimbledon County Grammar. After her retirement, she was a supply teacher until the age of 70.

Betty has been a resident in West Wimbledon since the 1940s and still lives in her house to this day. She remains very independent and likes to play the piano as she used to be the pianist for her school choir.

She picked up her teaching career after her husband died in order to pay her mortgage and bills and raise her two sons.

Betty met her husband Arthur in 1942 and married in 1943 and took over the tenancy of her home from friends. Later she was offered the opportunity to buy the house from the builders of the houses who had retained ownership. 

Speaking of the celebration, her granddaughter Katie Connaire said: "It was an amazing day for an amazing lady. The party was everything we wanted it to be.

"Grandma was surrounded by lots of family and close friends who made the day a truly memorable one. A fabulous time was had by all."