A FORMER nurse who says laughter is the key to long life, celebrates her 100th birthday tomorrow (Saturday).

Elsie Mealey, who served on an ambulance during the wartime blitz on Birmingham, has lived at Bromyard's Buttsfield House elderly people's residence for several years.

She will celebrate her century with a visit from family tomorrow and a tea party with the home's other residents on Monday.

She has even bought new shoes and a dress for the occasion.

"I never looked forward to being 100 but I wanted to be 99 and when I reached that I was perfectly satisfied," said Mrs Mealey, who added that laughter was the secret to her long life.

"I'm very much for laughing. I like to laugh," she said.

Joy Francis, support team warden at Buttsfield House, said Mrs Mealey was a great character who still went out for walks round Bromyard until two years ago.

"She's got a lovely sense of humour and has always got a smile on her face," she said.