A WOMAN known locally as the 'grandma of Shap' has celebrated her 109th birthday.

Amy Johnson's friends and family marked the big occasion with "open house" visits throughout the day to her home in the village's Main Street.

Doreen Lee, 86, Mrs Johnson's daughter, said: "One of our friends was in the local school before she came over. She told the school that she was going to visit a lady who will be 109 today. She was told to give mum their love. That was lovely."

Mrs Johnson, who has three great-grandchildren and five great great grandchildren, is known by Shap villagers as "grandma".

She was born in Westmoreland County, Jamaica, and came to Shap in the old County of Westmorland during the 1960s.

She joined her only child Doreen, who acted as the district nurse in Shap for more than 30 years, and helped to raise her three children, Stuart, Ann and Mark.

"It must have been a cultural shock to her at the time," Mrs Lee said. "When she arrived there was snow on the ground!

"This is a lovely part of the country. We are just part of the village now."

A strong Christian, Mrs Johnson still worships at St Michael's Parish Church, Shap, but due to recent poor health has been unable to attend.

"It's quite a steep hill," Mrs Lee said. "If she's asleep, I'll let her rest."