A GOODWICK resident, and one of the oldest women in Wales, celebrated a very special birthday on Friday, November 1, as she turned 105 years old.

Ivy Skeate, who lives in Hillside Residential Home, celebrated with her family and was visited by Pembrokeshire County Council chairman, Simon Hancock, who presented her with flowers.

Mrs Skeate was born in Southwark, London, just three months after the outbreak of the First World War. She was one of three children. Her father was policeman who used to blow the whistle for the all clear and, although she was very young, she remembers the war ending.

She was brought up in Stockwell, London, and at the age of 11 she won a scholarship to Grey Coat Grammar School, which she attended until the age of 16.

When she left school Mrs Skeate worked as a receptionist for Universal Studios, meeting the well-known film stars of the day.

At the age of 23 she married James Arthur Skeate. They had met as teens when he attended the neighbouring boy's school. The pair also taught at Sunday School together. They were engaged when they were both 21 and married at 23. They had two daughters Margaret and Irene.

The family moved to Carmarthenshire after Mr Skeate, an Oxyacetylene engineer, was offered a job there. The family decided they wanted to stay in west Wales and moved to Newport, Pembrokeshire where they ran a small grocery shop, West End Stores, for many years.

Mrs Skeate was widowed in 1988. She continued to live in Newport until she moved to Hillside seven years ago.

Mrs Skeate has three grandchildren; Joanna, Sarah Hart and Debra and six great-grandchildren.

She enjoys reading and watching television and gets around using a walking frame.

"She still enjoys reading and takes an interest in things," said her daughter Irene. "I heard her say when she was in her 80s that she would not give in to old age. She is a very determined person and she still enjoys life."