Stella Markson, former Bournemouth Aqua show compere celebrated her 90th birthday with champagne and chocolates at the Fairways Care Home, Boscombe last week.

London-born Stella grew up in the city until the Second World War when she was evacuated to the country and after the war the family moved to Oxford.

At the end of the war she served in ENSA, the British Army entertainment corps, trained as a stage actress, toured Italy, performed at repertory theatre at Amersham and then at Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre where she met her husband Leon. They married in 1947.

Stella was the compere and sometimes co-producer of the very popular Aqua shows at Bournemouth Pier Approach which her husband produced from 1951- 61 and then again from 1965 until his death in 1972. The following year she organised the Aqua show on her own.

For many years she also ran the family's ladies hairdressing business in Birmingham, Miss Kitty and La Pompadour, dividing her time between the Midlands and the south coast.

Stella was for over 60 years an active volunteer, community and charity worker in Bournemouth, helping to manage the early Jewish Elderly Day Care Centre on the East Cliff. She regularly organised and paid for many theatre visits, boat trips and coach tours for the pensioners. She was also an enthusiastic and active member of the children's charity, the Variety Club.

She has lived happily on the East Cliff for the last 30 years and still has many friends in the area, including some who attended her party with her sons David, and Max who made a special trip over from Australia.