Ipswich: Ethel, 100, celebrates special day with family and friends

Turning 100 was a real family occasion for Ethel Pennock – who has an incredible ELEVEN great great grandchildren.

Ipswich’s newest centenarian – who also boasts 29 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren – was surrounded by relatives and loved ones as she marked her milestone birthday.

Ethel revealed the two key ingredients to a long and healthy life were foregoing alcohol and cigarettes.

“I don’t drink and I don’t smoke,” she said.

The mother of six, who has lived all her life in Ipswich, celebrated turning 100 at the Scout Hall, at the Hallowtree Campsite in Nacton.

Ethel’s son, Tony, 64, said: “As a mother she is one of the best.

“She looked after us on her own after my dad (Stephen) died in 1973 and kept all the family together.

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“She’ll do anything to help others.”

Ethel, of Clapgate Lane, still plays bingo twice a week and she was joined by a number of friends from bingo for the occasion.

During the party, her children told how good advice from her husband probably saved her life during the war.

Tony added: “My dad made my mum promise that she would never go into a service shelter because it didn’t offer protection. He said to make sure you always go under ground. She was evacuated to Leicester and they told her to go into a service shelter.

“She went under ground instead and when she came out the service shelter was gone.

“If she had gone into the service shelter, none of us would be here today.”

? Are you celebrating a special milestone? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or e-mail starletters @archant.co.uk