A MUSSELBURGH great-grandmother celebrated her 95th birthday surrounded by more than 95 cards from family and friends at the weekend.

Betty Sneddon (nee Ferguson) was delighted when relatives paid her a visit on Sunday to wish her many happy returns and enjoy a socially distanced party in the garden of her town centre home.

She did not want any gifts but her family thought it would be a great idea if she received 95 cards – reflecting her age – from well-wishers.

The number of cards sent has now surpassed the target as relatives and friends, some from abroad, inundated her with birthday messages, much to her surprise and amazement.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, Mrs Sneddon enjoyed spending time in her beloved garden. She was also grateful to a friend who left cakes for her and gave her a wave.

Her daughter Mary Blair kept her in touch with family via FaceTime but she was delighted to catch up with them in person on her birthday amid the easing of restrictions.

The last surviving member of a family of nine – five brothers and four sisters – Mrs Sneddon was born in Musselburgh’s Newbigging, where she first attended school.

She was a pupil at Burgh Primary School and went on to secondary school at Fisherrow. She also lived for a time in Kilwinning.

On leaving school, she was employed as a housemaid at Inveresk for a short time and also worked at Brunton’s Wire Mill, Musselburgh. She also enjoyed working at L’Aperitif, a restaurant in Edinburgh.

She met her future husband Jimmy Sneddon when he was staying in lodgings in Musselburgh while working as a steel erector at Portobello Power Station. The couple were married at Inveresk Manse and set up home on Moir Avenue.

Mrs Sneddon was a soprano and soloist in the famous Musselburgh Fishwives Choir.

They sang all over the country and once went to sing for soldiers in recovery after the Second World War at Peel Hospital near Peebles. Her older brother Jim was recovering at the hospital from a severe back injury.

A mum of three, grandmother of five and great grandmother of three, she has always filled her life with family and friends.

Over the years, she enjoyed attending the Women’s Rural Institute and playing Scrabble with Nancy Herkes, her best friend from school, until they were in their late seventies.

A fan of detective programmes and brain-teasers, she said her recipe for a long and happy life was “crosswords, Scrabble, gardening and great grandchildren keep you going – not forgetting Morse, Poirot and, of course, good genes.”