REACHING your 103rd birthday would be an achievement for most people, but this Newport lady is still staying active - playing netball every week.

Violet Lawrence, of Caerleon, likes to keep herself active with walks around the nursing home she lives in, as well as netball once a week.

She also organises the bingo nights at Eleanor Hodson House and is and avid Wimbledon fan.

Born in Newport on June 20, 1908, Mrs Lawrence got her name when her father saw her for the first time and said she looked "like a little violet out of the hedgerow."

She married her childhood sweetheart, William Lawrence, a Newport police sergeant, in Pontnewydd Church in 1929 and the couple had two sons, Lyndon and Roger, before adopting a daughter, Mary.

Mrs Lawrence said: "She was absolutely marvellous, I couldn't have had a daughter any better."

The couple were married for 50 years before Mr Lawrence died of a heart attack aged 72.

"We had a perfect marriage, he was lovely," said Mrs Lawrence.

The widow is the oldest member of the Gwent Police Pensioners Association.

In 1997, Mrs Lawrence, who has eight grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren, decided to sell her house and move into Eleanor Hodson House.

She said: "I've been here 14 years and I've loved every minute of it, after I'd been here a week if they'd have said to me I could move back to my house I would have said 'no thank you.'

"I don't know what I've done to deserve the good life I've had."