ONE of Leigh’s oldest residents has celebrated her 101st birthday.

Amy Hirst has spent her life travelling far and wide with her lifelong friend Edith Bains, who she met when she started working for Courtaulds textiles manufacturers.

The two friends got the travelling bug when they saved their wages in order to visit Blackpool and other places in the area.

They first left the country in June 1937 to visit France and discovered a love of exploring abroad. Even the Second World War could not stop the friends as they continued to travel in Scotland, England and Wales.

After the war, they travelled to Geneva in 1949, headed to Belgium and Holland in 1952, frequented Venice and Verona in 1962 and the Parthenon in Greece in 1972.

Amy and Edith travelled together for all of their working lives, revisiting places and seeking out new experiences.

Asked to pick her favourite place, Amy couldn’t, saying simply that she loved every place, every person and every experience.

Amy, who has lived in Leigh all her life, celebrated her landmark birthday with friends at Belong, a care village in Mealhouse Lane in Atherton, where she know lives.

Nicola Beaver, experience coordinator at Belong Atherton, said: “We’re privileged to have Amy living with us now and hope that she will enjoy many more birthdays in the village."

“As well as her wonderful sense of humour, we never tire of seeing Amy’s collection of photos from her and Edith’s travels, or hearing about the incredible situations that these brave two ladies found themselves in.

“She used to work in what I suppose we would now call quality control and she is always telling me how if things were no good she would throw them back and tell them to redo it.”