A GIFTED seamstress who made Pontypool her home after fleeing London to escape the blitz celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday.

Christine Louise Williams celebrated her centenary with a surprise party from family and friends, which included a telegram from the Queen and a cake with Mrs Williams' picture on.

She moved to Gwent, aged 34, with her then nine-year-old brother Ken Smith after war was declared in 1939.

Their parents sent them to Wales to be safe from the threat of German bombing and they settled in Hawthorn Road, Sebastopol, Pontypool, where Mrs Williams has lived ever since.

During the war, she married Reginald Williams, a steelworker in Panteg, and had a son Peter.

Before she moved to Pontypool, Mrs Williams was a gifted dress-maker and seamstress in London.

In later years she went on to make soft toys, which she sold to order from her home.

Her husband died 15 years ago and her son died, aged 58, leaving Mrs Williams without grandchildren.

But yesterday she was said to be 'delighted' at her surprise party and had dozens of family and friends visit during the day.