MEET Polly, a remarkable woman who is celebrating her 106th birthday today in a care home – after getting over two broken hips and coronavirus in the past year.

Mary Nicholson, who goes by the nickname Polly, will celebrate the milestone Tuesday, January 12 with the staff at Elizabeth Court Care Home in Sutton.

She's had a tough year, breaking her hip twice, undergoing major surgery and overcoming a case of coronavirus.

But the ex-Pilks canteen lady, who lived through both World Wars, has bounced back and has been looking forward to her big day.

Sadly, due to the pandemic her family are unable to see her in person but they will be sending birthday wishes via a portal set up by care home staff.

Born on January 12, 1915, Polly was just aged five when she lost her mum to diabetes.

She lived close to Carr Mill Dam growing up in the 1920s with her two siblings and dad.

A few years later, after her dad remarried, the family moved to Crank Post Office where they provided residents with fresh bread, cakes and pastries that they baked on the premises.

She then went on to work in a shop on Park Road and in the canteen at Pilkington's Head Office until she retired.

Polly attributes her long life to "the full fat milk, cream and butter she was brought up on as well as the fresh air and exercise by walking everywhere, and in later life she enjoys her tipple of whisky at night time".

Her niece Carole Foulds, 63, told the Star: "Aunt Polly has had a rough year really but she's got the constitution of an ox and got over it all really and she's doing very well.

St Helens Star: Polly when she was youngerPolly when she was younger

Polly when she was younger

"She did have a minor case of coronavirus really, but more worrying for us was her breaking her hip twice and having to have two major operations.

"Doctors explained the risks because of how frail she is, but each time she was sitting up hours after the operation and shocking us all.

"She's seen so much in her life, and it's not always been easy, she lived through both World Wars and now this pandemic, but she just carries on.

"People born back then have that mentality of just getting on with stuff.

"We miss her very much, one of us calls her daily, and she always says 'oh it is lovely to hear from you, I'm glad you haven't forgotten about me'.

"Luckily she knows what is going on and understands but it is hard being separated from her especially for her birthday.

"However the staff at Elizabeth Court are fantastic and we know they will be setting up the portal in her room so we can all wish her happy birthday via video.

"They will also be decorating her room with balloons and giving her a cake, really they are fantastic and she deserves to have the best day.

"When we can we'll take her out for a late celebration, even if that's just a picnic outside the home, but hopefully we will be able to do a bit more down the line.

"We'd just like everyone to wish her a happy birthday as it will really cheer her up while having her birthday in lockdown."