Recently at Summer Lane Care & Nursing Home in Weston-Super-Mare staff decorated one of the lounges with balloons, bunting and photos ready for resident Irene Newey turning 107 years old. Irene was surrounded by her family, friends and staff from Summer Lane to celebrate her huge birthday milestone.
Irene received a birthday card from King Charles and Queen Camilla. Irene’s son Ralph was also very impress with the kitchen staff in the home as they went all out for Irene turning 107 years old, ‘The kitchen provided drinks, sandwiches, snacks, a large iced fruit cake with candles and a jam sponge cake with strawberries!’
Irene told her family, friends and staff that the secret to turning 107 years old is ‘Fresh air and a contented mind and if I'm still here tomorrow, I'll tell you more!’.
Irene was born in Birmingham in May 1916. Her dad was a soldier in the First World War and he only saw her once when she was about a year old. Sadly, he was killed in August 1917. Her mum, Lizzie, died also when Irene was only young at the age 10 years old. Irene then lived with her grandma, Helen, along with her brother, and later down the line her cousin too.
When Irene was 23 years old she married Fred Newey on February 3rd 1939. On their wedding day Irene commented ‘It was deep snow, with no buses or taxis, so myself and my bridesmaid had to walk a long way to get to the Church.’
As a career Irene worked in the office at Newey Brothers Ltd. Whilst working here Irene had to explain to the girls there that she was not marrying the boss's son! The name ‘Newey’ was very common in Birmingham back then.
Irene has always liked reading and writing poetry in her spare time. She was inspired to take up reading and write her own literature when she was a young child by a dedicated teacher called Miss Pengelley. Irene can still recite some of what she wrote. Irene has also spoken on the radio discussing the local history of Birmingham and reciting some of her own work.
When Irene was asked what the most valuable thing is she has learnt in her 107 years of life she commented ‘The value of friendship. If you have a friend, you have something.’
Irene’s son Ralph is extremely happy with the care Summer Lane have provided for his mum and commented ‘I would like to add my thanks and that of Irene's family for the care and attention she has received from all the staff over the seven years she has been a resident in Summer Lane Care Home. For gifts at birthdays and Christmas, for days out for tea and cake or shopping at garden centres, or views over the seaside. For games and crafts, for holding her hand, for calling her "Grandma". For showing you care. Thank you all.’
To find out more about life at Summer Lane Care & Nursing Home or to make an appointment to view the home please contact our Home Manager, Vimal Samuel at 01934 529 190 or email email@example.com.