'AGE is just a number', that is the motto of a great-gran-of-four who celebrated her 109th birthday on Wednesday.

Bessie Farnworth was born on October 30 1910.

She lived through the First and Second World Wars and lived all of her life in Atherton, that is until three years ago when she moved to Hillcrest Residential Care Home in Tyldesley.

Not content with receiving one letter from the Queen on her 100th birthday, Bessie now has six in total, for the 100th, 105th, 106th, 107th, 108th and now her 109th birthday.

She celebrated with a party the the care home on Elliot Street, and even had a visit from nursery children and a dance troupe from Leigh St Mary's Primary School.

Her son Wilf Farnworth, 76, said: "I'm so happy mum is still here with us, she goes between being shocked at her age and just saying that age is just a number, and it is really.

"My dad Tom died at the age of 91 and now mum is 109, so if it's in the genetics I might be here for a while too.

"Apparently she is the 31st oldest person in Great Britain.

"We had a lovely morning celebrating her, nursery children came around and danced and sung for her and the other residents then later the school children came round.

"Thank you all for helping to make her birthday special."

Leigh Journal:

Bessie with the girls from Leigh St Mary's

The year 6 dance troupe from Leigh St Mary's, made a surprise visit to the Hillcrest Residential Care home to perform some of their award winning dance routines for Bessie's big day that got the team on the short list for the Team of The Year awards in Wigan.

Amanda Ellison, who teaches the girls the dance routines said: "We thought that Bessie would enjoy watching the girls dance on her birthday but equally the girls loved performing and also looking at Bessie’s very special birthday card that she had received from Her Majesty the Queen.

"The girls had an amazing time and have not stopped talking about it, and Bessie certainly put a smile on all of our faces.

"All the girls are thrilled that they could do something special for a lady who is very special in her own right.

"We look forward to Bessie’s next year 110 birthday celebrations."