VERY happy returns to Alice Howell - who is marking her 100th birthday today.

The grandmother-of-four from Dringhouses is celebrating with a family party.

Born in Kent, Alice moved to Hull as a child, later marrying Leonard, the boy next door in 1939. They had two children, Dorothy and Allen.

Moving to York in the 1950s, Alice became known for organising social and crafting events in the new Parish of St James the Deacon.

When the church hall was built, the ladies group arranged sales, garden parties and social evenings, devoting time to raising money for the RNLI.

After Leonard died in 1980, Alice spent a couple of years trying to find new interests and then got hooked on bobbin lace making. She joined groups, made new friends and went to Bruges on lacemaking holidays, producing family heirlooms along the way.

Her family say they credit Alice's love of tea with her long and healthy life.