FORMER Savernake Hospital matron Mabel Blackwell was delighted when former nursing colleagues visited her on her 100th birthday.

Miss Blackwell celebrated her centenary on Friday at Marlborough Lodge nursing home in London Road, where she has lived since giving up her home on The Green.

Although she was expecting visitors including the Mayor of Marlborough Bill Cavill and his wife Tricia, Miss Blackwell said she had been surprised to see former hospital colleagues turn up as well.

She said: "I had the most perfect day thanks to everyone."

Miss Blackwell, who started nursing on her 18th birthday, was planning early retirement after a career as a midwife when she heard about the matron's post at Savernake.

She spent 13 years at the hospital and is still affectionately known in the district as Matron Blackwell.