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Happy birthday to skincare model Irene, 108 - who still mops her own floor

PUBLISHED: 12:32 28 September 2016 | UPDATED: 12:32 28 September 2016

Reenie celebrates her 108th birthday on Friday surrounded by friends and family (Picture: Unzela Anna Khan)

Reenie celebrates her 108th birthday on Friday surrounded by friends and family (Picture: Unzela Anna Khan)

Archant

Walk everywhere and eat lots of fresh veg: Irene Sinclair reckons that's the secret to a long, healthy life.

Reenie celebrates her birthday with a glass of her favourite - ginger wine (Picture: Unzela Anna Khan)Reenie celebrates her birthday with a glass of her favourite - ginger wine (Picture: Unzela Anna Khan)

At 108 years old, advice from Irene – who celebrated her birthday on Friday – is worth listening to.

An international model who graced billboards as recently as eight years ago in a Dove skincare campaign, Irene still enjoys a trip to her beloved local, the Auld Shillelagh in Church Street.

Friday’s party at her Yoakley Road home included balloons, banners, cakes and flowers – but when you’re 108, you get to have two parties.

So the annual tradition of a celebration at the Auld Shillelagh with all her friends went ahead on Tuesday as well. She is described by friends there as “the life of the party”; her favourite tipple is ginger wine.

"I know you won’t listen to my advice but when I was younger we used to walk two to three miles at a time"

Irene Sinclair

Irene, who moved to Hackney in 1971, said: “Once you reach 100, people start to notice you.”

People were noticing her a little earlier than that. In 2005, aged 96, she took part in Dove’s “Real Women” campaign and her smile was seen on posters across the world. She made such an impact that on her 100th birthday she received 240 birthday cards.

“I know you won’t listen to my advice,” she told the Gazette, “but when I was younger there wasn’t much transport in this area.

“We used to walk two to three miles at a time.

“And I’ve always eaten freshly grown foods because there weren’t any supermarkets here.”

Friend Christine Lemmon added: “Reenie is very intelligent and always full of funny stories.”

After a few unfortunate falls, Irene’s trips to the pub have become less frequent – but nothing stops her mopping her own bathroom and kitchen and doing her own washing.

If you’re a friend of Irene, send her a birthday wish by e-mailing gazette.letters@archant.co.uk

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