Dorset's oldest woman, too poorly to travel, gets 'royal' garden party at 108

The 'Queen' put in a special appearance as Nan cut the cake

Dorset's oldest resident has been given a 108th birthday to remember, after ill-health prevented her from travelling to Buckingham Palace.

Annie Dennett, known as Nan, had been invited to a garden party at the palace in 2021, but it was postponed because of the Covid pandemic.

Sadly, Nan was too frail to travel to the re-arranged party in May this year, so the community in her hometown of Blandford Forum, decided to bring the palace experience to her.

Nan with her daughters Sandra and Jenny
The mayor pays tribute to Nan

Celebrating her belated 108th birthday in Woodhouse Gardens, family and friends were joined by the town's MP Simon Hoare, the Deputy Lieutenant John Young, the Mayor of Blandford Forum, and dignitories from the local council.

The Blandford Stour Valley Band played a fanfare and the Dorset Rural Music School choir sang Annie's favourite songs, including 'Daisy, Daisy', 'Danny Boy' and 'Amazing Grace.'

The Dorset Rural Music School Choir sang Nan's favourite songs

Originally from Lancashire, Nan was one of ten children and left school at 14 to work in a cotton mill, then in service and later in a Lancaster hospital.

She was only five when the Spanish Flu pandemic hit after the First World War.

She met her husband Ivor while serving with the WRVS during the Second World War and they married in February 1944, living first with his family in Charlton Marshall, where she worked at Clayesmore School.

Her husband worked for many years at the Hall and Woodhouse brewery.

She now lives in Blandford St Mary and enjoys watching Bradley Walsh on The Chase.