ONE of the region's oldest people has celebrated her 104th birthday.

Mary Parkinson was surrounded by family and friends to help her celebrate the milestone today (Friday, February 22).

Mrs Parkinson, who was born in Middleton, Hartlepool, moved to County Durham after marrying John 'Jack' Parkinson in 1930.

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The couple lived at Pity Me, before moving to Framwellgate Moor, Durham.

After Mr Parkinson died in 1983, Mrs Parkinson moved into a bungalow, where she lived independently until December 2011.

She now lives in Lindisfarne Care Home in Newton Hall.

Her son Bill Parkinson, 69, and his wife Margaret joined her to mark her birthday.

Mr Parkinson said: "My mother has always been a very friendly and caring person and has always gone out of her way to help other people.

“She has mobility problems, but remains as bright as a button.

Mrs Parkinson, who used to enjoy whist drives and bingo, was a regular churchgoer at St Aiden's Church, Framwellgate Moor.

She also has a son John, 80, as well as four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.