Super-fit Irene is 100 years old next week
A super-fit great-grandmother who went swimming three times a week before lockdown celebrates her 100th birthday on Monday (April 12).
Irene Brook, who lives in Thornes, has kept up her daily exercise regime at home during the past 12 months and loves nothing better than tending her garden.
She was born in 1921 and lived with her parents and sister in a house on Denby Dale Road which has since been demolished to make way for the widening of the road when it became a dual carriageway.
When she was five-years old the family moved to Bradford, her father swapping life underground as a miner to running an off-licence.
Irene made the trip to Wakefield regularly to visit family and friends but it was not until she married Harold, her husband of more than 70 years that she came back here to live. The couple met in Blackpool and were married during one of Harold's period's of leave from the army, Harold died in 2005, aged 84.
They went on to have two sons, Stephen and Michael who both now live in America,five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren - one of which Irene is yet to meet.
After he was demobbed Harold worked at Wakefield County Hall and Irene worked in the treasurers department at the Town Hall before she left to have her children.
When the boys were at school she took classes at Wakefield Technical College and became an accomplished cake decorator, supplying some of her cakes to Silvio's Bakery in the city.
Always a keen dancer and gymnast Irene joined the Women's League of Health and Beauty and in 1944 and 1948 took part in the gymnastics display at the Royal Albert Hall along with hundreds of other women from all over the world.
Irene has been a long-standing supporter of Wakefield Hospice and was a familiar figure at the Cross St shop where she volunteered from 1983 until her retirement just five years ago.
She keeps her mind sharp by doing regular puzzles and although the swimming pool is expected to reopen on Monday, Irene will have to wait a bit longer until the aqua aerobics and aqua zumba classes she loves so much start back up again.