A NURSING home hosted a very special party last weekend in celebration of the 100th birthday of resident Edith Hunter.

Mrs Hunter was the centre of attention for the day as about 50 visitors joined family, residents and staff for the festivities at St Mary's Nursing Home in Church Chare, Chester-le-Street.

She received plenty of messages from well-wishers, including words of congratulation from some notable people, including the Queen and Work and Pensions Secretary David Blunkett.

Another present was an autographed photograph wishing her all the best sent to her by the North- East television news presenter Mike Neville.

A bouquet of flowers was presented by Durham County Council member Christine Smith, along with two birthday cakes.

However, the piece-de-resistance of the occasion was the presentation of a portrait of Mrs Hunter with her only surviving son, George, which was painted for them by local artist David Haskett.

Mrs Hunter was born in Kimblesworth, near Chester-le-Street. She lived much of her life in nearby Nettlesworth and was married to a miner. She used to work as a cleaner.