Hornchurch grandma approaches ‘marvellous achievement’ of 100th birthday

Iris Insole is currently a resident at the Ravenscourt Nursing Home in Hornchurch

Iris Insole is currently a resident at the Ravenscourt Nursing Home in Hornchurch - Credit: Angela Insole

A Hornchurch-based grandma who took part in the war effort and latterly appeared on TV will soon receive her letter from the queen as she turns 100 later this month. 

Iris Insole, who spent most of her life living in Barking, is currently a resident at the Ravenscourt Nursing Home in Hornchurch. 

Iris’s daughter, Angela, 63, said when war broke out, she joined the land army and was sent to a farm in Suffolk, something her mum adored. 

She puts Iris’s grand age down to her love of exercise, evidenced by her participation in Keep Fit classes until she turned 70. 

For her 90th, Iris appeared in an early episode of Alan Titchmarsh’s TV series Love Your Garden after being nominated by her granddaughters. 

Iris alongside her son Jim, and daughter, Angela

Iris alongside her son Jim, and daughter, Angela - Credit: Angela Insole

With her century just around the corner, Angela said: “It’s a marvellous achievement. We are very proud of her.” 

As well as Angela, Iris has a son, Jim, 68, and two granddaughters, Francesca and Maria.  

Her husband, Harry Insole, died in 1999. 

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Asked about her mother’s take on the occasion, Angela added: “Her motto is 'always look after number one and keep smiling.'” 

Iris is set to turn 100 on May 22.