ONE of Swindon's oldest pensioners celebrated 108 happy years with a summer fete held in her honour.

Family and friends flocked to visit Freda Comer at Kingsmead Care Home and shower her with gifts and cards on her very special day.

Freda said: "I love seeing all my children and family. I don't know if there's a secret to a long life, I never thought I would have one this long. I remember thinking when I was 99 'I hope I live another year' and here I still am.

"I've had lots of fun and enjoyable times at my family's farm working with the cattle and I've been a housewife for much of my life, which has been nice.

"I used to make homemade dandelion wine, which was quite strong, everyone made their own wine back then.

"I like having a tot of brandy every day, that keeps me going, and I like playing the scratchcards - I won £9 on the last one."

Born in Cricklade on July 9 1911, her father's birthday, Freda grew up with four brothers and three sisters.

When she was 14, Freda worked as a maid in a London country house where she met her first husband, wood machinist Charles Cole. After they married, they moved to Sussex and then moved again to Freda's family farm in Highworth where she worked during the Second World War.

They were married for 41 years until Charles died in 1975. After a decade as a widow, Freda married her second husband Ted Comer in 1985. They lived together for 10 years and he died in 1995.

Freda then lived alone until she was 102 then moved into the Old Town care home where everyone is full of kind words about her.

Care home manager Nichola Bickerstaffe said: "She's like royalty around here, she's delightful and a joy to look after. She's always really polite and grateful for the care she receives, and everyone calls her Nanny, even the staff.

"Her favourite food is KFC - really, she likes to nibble on the bone, it's lovely to see her enjoy it so much. We brought her some the day before the fete which we host every year around her birthday.

Freda has an extensive family tree including two daughters, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Freda's daughter Ann Sutton said: "She can't walk and her eyesight isn't great but her mind and memory are wonderful. She can tell you anything you want to know and she always knows what's going on, she's remarkable.

"We come up every week to see her and she has visitors nearly every day so she's happy."