AN author, teacher and fan of Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen has celebrated her 90th birthday.

Frances Woodward celebrated surrounded by friends and staff at Steepleton Manor Care Home.

Born in Nottingham, Mrs Woodward went to Cambridge University where she read history, and the classics.

She lived in Cambridge for 30 years and was a teacher of history, English and religion.

During the Second World War she worked at Bletchley Park as a decoder.

In 2009 she received a commemorative badge in recognition of the work she did.

She moved to Puddletown in 1963 and then to Steepleton Manor in 2006.

A keen reader, her favourite authors are Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy.

She also wrote two books: The Doctor’s Disciples: A Study of Four Pupils of Arnold of Rugby Stanley, Gell, Clough, William Arnold – which was published in 1954 and Portrait of Jane: A Life of Lady Frank.

She said that the secret to her longevity was that both her parents lived to good ages and no alcohol or cigarettes.

Pat Thomas, manager at the home said they had a lovely day.

She said: “We had a cake with candles and presents. She had a lovely day.”