Worthing centenarian was an aspiring gymnast

A former seamstress has celebrated her 100th birthday in Worthing with friends and family.

Irene Williams received birthday cards from the Queen and the secretary of state for work and pensions.

She celebrated with family, staff and residents at Ashdown Nursing Home, in Shakespeare Road, Worthing, on Tuesday.

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Born Irene Reed on February 18, 1920, she grew up in Finsbury Park, north London, near the old Arsenal football ground.

Irene Williams celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends

In her early years, Irene was an aspiring gymnast, until war intervened.

During the Second World War, Irene’s contribution to the war effort was working in a munitions factory.

She met her first husband, Fred, during the war and they were married in 1941 but there was no honeymoon, as Fred had to rejoin his unit, fighting with ‘Monty’, Field Marshall Montgomery.

After the war, Irene became a seamstress and settled in Woodford with Fred, until he passed away in 1982.

Irene later moved to Worthing with a new partner, Bert, and has lived here ever since.

She had no children of her own but her niece, nephew, great niece, great nephew and friends visited to help her celebrate her 100th birthday.