There was a special celebration at Chirk Court Care Home as Rita Evans celebrated her 106th birthday.

Chirk’s oldest resident, fondly-known as ‘Nanny Evans’, was surrounded by her family and friends as she celebrated her special day with flowers and a card from the Queen.

Rita was born in Swansea on December 15, 1911 and was adopted at just three months old.

After leaving school at 14 she worked as a downstairs parlour maid and child minder before she met her husband-to-be, coal miner Gwyn Evans, on the bus. They married by special licence in 1932 and went on to have four children – Iris, Dereck, Keith and Marian.

The couple then went to live with Gwyn’s family in the Rhondda Valley before they moved to Chirk where Gwyn worked at Black Park Colliery.

After Gwyn died in 1963, Rita and the family moved to Church View. She worked in the Hand Hotel kitchen before finding a job working for Lady Trevor at Brynkinallt Hall in Chirk, where she worked until she was 72 years old.

Rita later moved to a bungalow in Rhos y Waun before she moved to Chirk Court, aged 97.

Since being at Chirk Court, Rita has been well-known for participating in every event, especially listening to the choirs and brass bands that have visited the care home over the Christmas period.

Rita is well-known for her luscious locks too – and rightly so, as it takes 110 perm curlers and three hours to get her hair looking as lovely as it does.

She’s also kept busy by her ever-growing family – Rita is a grandmother, a great-grandmother, and a great-great-grandmother to 32 family members, ranging from the oldest being 62 to the youngest who is just two-years-old.

Her daughter, Marian, said: “She would walk for miles if she could – she’s still very active and it’s amazing to see her at 106-years-old and with five generations of her family.

“She has spent a lot of her life working – so she would definitely say her secret to a long life is hard work.”