FRIENDS who share the same birthday clocked up two centuries between them this week.

Edith Williams, who is 101, and Anna Alonzi, a mere youngster at 99, were treated to a party on Monday at the Feryemount Residential Home in Ferryhill where they live.

Mrs Alonzi helped her husband run the family ice cream business in Low Spennymoor.

Even after 56 years in England, she still prefers to speak in her native Italian.

She joined her late husband Sandy in Spennymoor after the death of his first wife Regina and enjoyed life in England.

Her stepdaughter Anita Lawson said: "She regards England as her home. The only time she went to Italy was for a fortnight's holiday and she was happy to come back.

"She is mobile and happy at the home. She is marvellous."

Miss Williams was one of five children of a Welsh miner who moved to Ferryhill to find work at the Dean and Chapter Colliery.

Born in Dean Bank, she left school at 14 to work as a seamstress, moving to London five year's later to become a children's nanny. She returned to look after her mother in the family home in West Street and went on to care for her brother Bert until his death a few years ago.