A fiery 100-year-old downed a pint of Guinness and polished off a whisky chaser to celebrate her milestone birthday.

Nellie West had threatened to throw away her telegram from the Queen when it arrived to mark her 100th birthday, but in the end she accepted it graciously when it arrived.

The former dry cleaner took time out from her stay in Southborough Nursing Home to pop to the Maypole Pub in Hook Road, Surbiton, on Tuesday, April 17.

Lindsay Alderman, an administrator at the nursing home, said: “Nellie is really a character. She has got a fiery temper on her. She has got a fantastic memory on her.

“She is just a wonderful resident and great to spend time with.”

Born Georgina Bridger in Kingston in 1912, she has always been known as Nellie. She had 12 brothers and sisters with two sisters Kit Lucy, 92, and Rose Bowyer, 95, still alive.

Her marriage to electrician Steve, who died a few years ago, did not lead to any children.

She left school at 13 and worked in laundries around Kingston all her life but ended up at Esher Laundry when she was nearly 70.

Her niece Christine Lucy said: “She enjoys watching television, she likes watching sports programmes but she particularly enjoys snooker. “She enjoys reading romance and western books. She is a real Kingstonian born and bred.”

Her family held a small party at the nursing home on Saturday afternoon where they toasted her health with a glass of bubbly and birthday cake.

She also picked up a copy of the Surrey Comet which was a sprightly 56 years old when she was born.