GLASSES of bubbly and slices of cake helped two pensioners celebrate clocking up 209 years between them.

Gwen Payne, from Benson, near Wallingford, celebrated her 105th birthday with her family yesterday – and vowed to carry on living on her own.

Also celebrating is Mabel Saunders, from Caversfield, near Bicester, whose 104th birthday is today.

Mrs Payne was born near Cirencester, in Gloucestershire, and worked as a dressmaker before meeting Alec Payne, to whom she was married for 57 years until his death in 1991, aged 82 .

The couple had three daughters, Anne Weskett, 76, Jill Wyman, 74, and Mary Potter, 67, who died last October.

Mrs Payne, who has 10 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren, moved to Benson in 2003 to be near her daughter Jill.

As members of her family gathered at her home to celebrate her birthday, she said: “I got my first card from the Queen when I was 100 and now I have got my second one – I’m delighted.”

Mrs Wyman said: “My mother is mentally very alert and still watches the news on TV and reads the paper every day. She’s still in very good health and lives in her own self-contained flat.”

Great-great-grandmother Mrs Saunders, pictured right, will celebrate her birthday milestone with a tea party at Cherwood House Residential Home, Caversfield, where she lives.

Mrs Saunders only moved to the home four years ago and had previously lived on her own in Ardley Road, Middleton Stoney.

The youngest of five children, she was born in Reading, before moving with her parents to Watlington and then to Middleton Stoney, to take on Dewars Farm.

The housewife, who had two children (Raymond, 82, and Norman, who died last year, aged 78) enjoys trips out. She said: “I go out as much as I can.”

Asked the secret of a long life, she said: “Ordinary plain food and just gently rubbing along.”

Mrs Saunders also has three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.