THE FOUNDER of Wotton Art Group has reached the grand age of 100 and celebrated in style with friends at a surprise party at Wotton-under-Edge Library.

Muriel Dormer, who reached the milestone on Saturday, January 4, was treated to cake, flowers and a surprise visit from the town’s mayor Cllr Roger Claydon OBE on Friday, January 10.

Mrs Dormer moved to Southend in Wotton-under-Edge in 1977 and a year later put up a notice in the library to see if anybody was interested in an arts and crafts-type group being set up to get to know the area.

She received 26 replies and Wotton Art Group was born, and still continues 35 years on.

Originally from Eastbourne in Sussex, Mrs Dormer was a member of the field staff at insurance company Prudential and married her husband Stanley Dormer in 1939.

When asked what had helped her reach the milestone, Mrs Dormer said: “If I knew that I could make a lot of money.

“I feel no different from any other birthday. I am surprised of course to reach this age,” she said.

“I think it’s having a hobby and being active, to fill your time with things which give you a lot of pleasure.

"I think Wotton Art Group gave me a purpose in life. They are a wonderful group of people.”

The keen painter and seamstress said she was very thankful to the library for putting on the event.

Mayor Claydon said he was pleased to be invited along.

“We try and attend when we are asked by the family and friends when they reach this grand old age,” he said.

“It’s obviously a significant landmark when our residents get to 100 so we like to do our bit.”

Group librarian Andrew Flipp said Mrs Dormer had been a regular visitor for a number of years.

“It’s a choice chance for people who are somewhat confined to their house to have a meet up once in awhile,” he said.

“We have very good community services and this event demonstrates the value of the library."