Film lover from Leamington a star on her 100th birthday

Irene Whittaker with her card from the Queen, pictured with (L-R) her son-in-law Ron Hill, son Mike Hill and Daughter Susan Hill.

Irene Whittaker with her card from the Queen, pictured with (L-R) her son-in-law Ron Hill, son Mike Hill and Daughter Susan Hill.

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Good living and good friends have helped a Leamington film lover to live to past her 100th birthday.

Irene Whittaker, born in Manchester on February 2 1917, has lived her life enjoying the screen performances of such acting greats as James Cagney, Peter Cushing and her favourite Clark Gable.

Irene Whittaker with the 100th birthday cards from her great grandsons.

Irene Whittaker with the 100th birthday cards from her great grandsons.

But she celebrated her 100th birthday by sharing some Champagne and cake with those who are even more important to her when her daughter Susan Hill, son-in-law Ron Hill and grandson Mike Hill - who travelled up from Cornwall specially for the event - visited her at Greenways care home in Long Itchington last week.

She said; “The key to me having lived for this long is good living and good friends.

“I had a wonderful time living in Leamington.”

Irene was also delighted to receive handmade cards from her great grandsons Matthew and Jowan along with a card and telegram from the Queen.

One of six children, Irene was the daughter of Wade Wood who owned 22 butchers shops around Manchester.

She moved to Leamington with her husband Thomas Whittaker, a civil servant with the Tax Office, in 1959.

She said the pace of life was much slower back then and more was seen to be done for those in need and living homeless.

Thomas died in 1973 and Irene lived independently up to age of 96 when she moved to Greenways where she is now settled and happy.

She said that one of the highlights of her life so far was meeting Thomas.

Irene’s love of films dates back as far as when she saw Gable in Gone With the Wind when it first came out at the cinema around 1939.

She also developed an interest in horror and crime films over the years.

She was also a keen gardener.