Fifth Northampton care home resident turns 100 years old this year

Pictured front (left to right): Nancy Summers, Joan Gammage, Isabella Samuels andEdna Grant at Isabella's birthday party on Sunday. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds.
Pictured front (left to right): Nancy Summers, Joan Gammage, Isabella Samuels andEdna Grant at Isabella's birthday party on Sunday. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds.

St. Christopher's Care Home in Abington hosted a huge birthday party on Sunday (December 1) for their fifth resident who turned 100 this year.

Isabella Samuels is the last resident to turn 100 before 2020.

She lives with three other amazing 100-year-olds including Joan Gammage, Nancy Summers and Edna Grant (pictured). Eileen Rouse also marked her milestone this year but unfortunatley passed away in the Autumn.

Isabella was born in Glasgow in 1919 to a grocery shop manager and housewife. She had a twin sister, Sadie, six brothers and two other sisters.

Their home was on the second floor of a tenement building, which has since been demolished to make way for the M8 motorway. Their house consisted of just two rooms, a kitchen and a lounge with beds, which folded down from the walls.

Isabella fondly remembers her favourite toy being a little teddy bear and when she got a little older she liked to knit and crochet.

Her pocket money was one pence a week, which she and her sister Sadie spent on sweets and they would each buy something different, which they would then mix together and share.

One of the most exciting things to happen to her as a child was winning a singing contest with a rendition of 'I'm a Little Teapot', where she won five shillings, which paid to feed her family.

Isabella, who went to Dundast Fell School, said: "I had to cross the road to get to school so I felt very grown up.

"The teachers were okay, but one stood out. He told us to clean our shoes every day. If we did, he would read a story to us, which was really good.

"I loved maths and always got full marks in it."

Her first full time job was an assistant in a grocery store but her main occupation during her working life was as an electronics technician.

She used to love visiting the theatre and watching silent films, which cost her two pence.

She married and eventually went to live in Middlesex, having twin boys Alec and David in June 1942 and a daughter Val in 1950.

Isabella is known for her "wonderful sense of humour" and "sharp memory" at the care home. In her spare time she enjoys listening to brass band and choir music, and loves watching Emmerdale and Coronation Street, and any programme by Sir David Attenborough.

She added: "The most important thing in my life now is my family."

Manager of St. Christopher's, Sarah Clarke, said: "She is an extraordinary lady, you just wouldn't think she has just turned 100.

"She regularly takes part in the home's activities and especially loves her carpet bowls, and has won the bowler of the month trophy and she was a runner-up twice this year already."