Great Yarmouth 100-year-old enjoys special slice of cake on landmark birthday

Irene Mitchell celebrating her 100th birthday at Park House care home.

Picture: James Bass Irene Mitchell celebrating her 100th birthday at Park House care home. Picture: James Bass

Lucy Clapham
Saturday, May 31, 2014
11:21 AM

Lifelong Great Yarmouth resident Irene Mitchell toasted her 100th birthday with a glass of sherry and a slice of specially-made cake.

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The centenarian told her family she did not want just an ordinary sponge to mark her landmark year, so instead she and well wishers enjoyed portions of wedding cake that carried a birthday greeting rather than a bride and groom.

Mrs Mitchell, who was born on May 19, 1914, was surrounded by friends and family for her birthday party at Park House care home in Great Yarmouth, where she enjoyed live music, a tot of sherry and a reading her card from the Queen.

Niece Sandy Harlow said it was a “beautiful” day.

“The staff got a guy there with a guitar and organised some entertainment,” she said. “It was lovely.”

Mrs Mitchell was born and bred in Great Yarmouth and lived in Malakoff Road for many years and worked at several of the town’s historic factories.

The third of eight siblings, she started work when she was 14 at Johnson’s factory.

She then went on to work at Mason’s Laundry and later at the Erie Resistor factory, and during the second world war she made camouflage nets.

Her husband Peter died in 1986 and she remained an independent woman, doing her own decorating up until 18 months ago when she became poorly and moved to Park House last September.

Mrs Harlow said: “She’s always been very active. When my mum was poorly she’d go to visit her twice a week and she was in her 90s getting on a bus.

“She lived in a cottage with an outside toilet and funny, little windy stairs that were an inch wide on one side.

“I can’t believe she’s 100. Her body is a bit frail but she’s still got all her marbles, she’s an absolutely brilliant lady.”

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