A FORMER Didcot headteacher was overwhelmed after she was inundated with messages from ex-pupils on her 100th birthday.

Edna Lardner celebrated the milestone with friends, residents and staff at Stowford House Care Home in Abingdon yesterday.

Ms Lardner was headteacher at St Frideswide’s School and Didcot Grammar School for many years and became deputy head when the two merged to create Didcot Girls’ School in the early 1970s.

Dozens of her former pupils contributed to a scrapbook presented to her by ex-St Frideswide’s PE teacher Kay Robinson and daughter, Helen, who is also the former school head's god-daughter.

Read also: Care worker is first to give stem cells at new centre

It proved a special moment for Ms Lardner, who was blown away by the gifts, cards and flowers that poured into the home throughout the day.

She said: “My father always told me to count my blessings one-by-one.

“I’m going to be counting all my blessings from today for the next two years.”

Ms Lardner, a former England netball player, arrived at St Frideswide’s in 1959 and lived next to the school in Didcot’s Manor Crescent.

Ex-pupil Kath Luker said: “Ms Lardner scared everyone to death, but deep down she was the biggest softy. She was strict but fair.”

By the start of this week, almost 150 ex-pupils had added their memories to the scrapbook, with more coming in right up to the big day.

Ms Lardner had lunch with Ms Robinson and her daughter, which included a cherry tray bake that she shared with residents.

Meanwhile, Stowford House home manager Sherrie Hume brought in her puppy, Buddy, as a special treat.