A BARRHEAD woman was on cloud nine as she marked a special birthday.

Anna Lawns, who joined the Royal Air Force as a teenager, celebrated her 100th birthday on Friday, August 12, by enjoying a party at her sheltered housing complex.

She was joined by friends and relatives at Bellfield Court, in Paisley Road.

Anna was also honoured with a celebration earlier in the week by fellow attendees at the Salvation Army Home League group, which she has been going to for the last 13 years.

An undoubted highlight of reaching the milestone, however, was getting a 100th birthday card from the Queen.

Anna Lawns with her sons Michael (left) and Billwith her treasured birthday card from the Queen

Anna, who was born and brought up in Barrhead, said: “I was delighted to get the card from Her Majesty and very proud of that.

“That’s the one I wanted, to tell you the truth. That’s the one I was looking forward to.”

The centenarian has three children – Mary, 78, Bill, 75, and 65-year-old Michael – as well as six grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and six great, great grandchildren.

Anna was 17 when the Second World War broke out and, at 18, she joined the RAF, serving as an aircraft fitter.

During this time, she worked on repairing Wellington bombers and Hurricane fighters and was based mostly at Hawarden, in North Wales, as well as in Buckinghamshire and Staffordshire.

Anna Lawns with her sons Michael (left) and BillAnna in her RAF uniform

Anna earned a service medal and a veterans badge for her efforts and remembers the thrill of taking test flights with the pilots in the Wellingtons.

“I was proud to do what I was doing, keeping the planes in the air for the pilots and doing all the inspections and repairs,” she said. “I was proud to do my duty for king and country.

“I loved flying. It was great and I was always first in the queue for the test flights.”

Anna’s love of flying extended to a love of travelling in general and she has fond memories over the years of trips to Disneyland Paris, Portugal and Lanzarote.

Still fiercely independent, she enjoys taking solo bus trips to visit the shops in Paisley and keeps her mind sharp through word and number puzzles.

Asked about the secret to long life, Anna said: “Just determination – and I never drank alcohol.”