A GREAT grandmother who flew through the air for her 90th birthday said she would have loved to have repeated the stunt for her centenary but was worried about what her doctors would have said.

Joan Harding is set to reach her milestone 100th birthday on December 1.

A large party with more than 40 family members had been scheduled but plans have had to be put on ice because of coronavirus.

But Joan, of Salter Court, Colchester, said she hopes to be able to see at least some of her family as the lockdown eases in the days after her birthday.

"I am looking forward to the birthday but it will be difficult to have any real celebrations," she said.

"It has all been wiped away a little bit.

"We had a family part booked in a hotel with 45 of my relations so it is quite sad but we have got to get this situation cleared up.

"Hopefully this time it will be done right."

Joan plunged some 12,000ft a decade ago in a parachute jump to raise cash for the Royal British Legion.

She had served in the Army doing clerical work during the Second World War and said another daredevil stunt had been on the cards before a recent hip surgery.

"It was so exciting," she said.

"I would have loved to do have done it again.

"But since then I have had a hip replacement and you can imagine what my doctors would have said if I suggested I was doing it again."

Joan was born in Leytonstone and married husband Geoff before the outbreak of the Second World War.

They spent 50 happy years together before he sadly died.

The couple had two children, Nigel and Pamela, with Joan now proudly boasting five grandchildren and another eight great grandchildren.

She puts her longevity down to eating right and exercise.

"I have always been a walker," she said.

"I have also done a lot of keep fit classes over the years but especially when I was younger, if I had to go somewhere I walked.

"We did not always have a car and I didn't have a choice but I think it has helped me."