SHE may be one of Summertown’s oldest residents but Edna Clifford is still dancing away after reaching the grand old age of 102.

The former teacher celebrated her birthday yesterday at Parmoor Court in Summertown, where she lives completely independently, doing her own shopping and cooking.

Surrounded by her friends and family, she danced the morning away, charming those who had turned up wishing her many happy returns.

Mrs Clifford, who turned 102 on Thursday but celebrated the milestone yesterday, said her diet, tailored to her O type blood group was the key to long life.

She said: “All I can say is I have always been very careful what I eat - it’s so important and that’s what the Greeks discovered more than 2,000 years ago and it’s still the case now.

“It’s all about your blood type, mine is O, which means I am a hunter and I need red meat."

Her daughter Alexandra Gunnarson swears by the diet too but her A blood type means she is a vegetarian.

The great-grandmother-of-four can regularly be seen walking to Co-op in Banbury Road and dancing down the corridors of her supported housing block.

She said: “I am more limited now and can’t do what I used to do but I like it here and my family come and see me.”

She has enjoyed more than 50 years of retirement but was kept busy as a cover teacher across the country at the end of Second World War.

She said: “When the war finished women were needed to be teachers as there was a shortage across the country.

“I was a cover teacher and I never had as much work as at that time.”

She added: “If we could cope with the shortage back then I’m sure we can deal with problems teachers face today.”

Mrs Clifford was born in Chester but spent the first 20 years of her life in Nottingham.

The centenarian moved to Henley, Oxfordshire, with her first husband Raymond Parmenter in 1947 and then to Whitchurch-on-Thames in 1950.

Mr Parmenter was an industrial consultant and the couple regularly moved around when he was called to work with different firms and had three children.

When he died in 1972 she moved to Bath and met and married Freddie Clifford ten years later.

After Freddie died she moved to Oxford and to Parmoor Court to be near her son Tony, who has since died.

When asked whether she feared for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren for the future she gave a spirited response.

She said: “I have been thinking about what to leave my children and grandchildren and I have decided I’m going to spend all my money.

“I started with nothing and made it through alright and they can start with nothing as well.”