When people reach a pensionable age, it’s seen as a time to take things more easy and have a more relaxing life.
However, one person who would have disagreed with that would be Irene Hindle, who has died at the age 106.
Irene, who lived at Merwood Rest Home in Bispham, was a daredevil even in her final years and was well known for her thrill-seeking birthday antics.
For many people at her age, a tea party with friends and family would more than suffice to mark the big day but when Irene turned 101, she wasn’t satisfied with something so gentle.
Instead, she was booked in for a sports car driving session behind the wheel of both a Lotus Elise and an Aston Martin.
And this is far from the first time she has chosen daredevil experiences over a family gathering. Back in 2003, aged 90, Irene took to the skies flying her very own two-seater helicopter over Blackpool.
A dream ambition for her, at the time she told The Gazette: “That was great – it’s lovely to be able to see all the sights coming back along the Promenade.”
Irene originally comes from Accrington and first started work at Woolworths after leaving school. She was later a doctor’s receptionist and nanny. .
Irene never married or had children and moved to Blackpool in her late 80s and after spending time in care homes in Blackpool and St Annes, she settled at Merwood 16 years ago.
Jackie Nutter, manager at the Merwood Rest Home, said she was an ‘absolutely wonderful lady’ and she is being missed by everyone everyday.
Jackie said: “She was an absolute pleasure to have in the home. She was an real inspiration for residents and staff.
“Even at 106 she was still stripping and making her bed and she never used walking sticks or frames because she wasn’t frail enough.
“Everyone tried to keep up with her but no one ever could.”
Jackie, who has previously said Irene could run around the care home like she was 21, accompanied her on many of the thrill-seeking adventures.
Jackie said: “I took her all over the place to different things and we’ve certainly had some fantastic adventures over the years. She was like a built-in sat nav when I started in Blackpool ten years ago and she knew where everything was.
“Only this year we went to the Runway Visitor Park at Manchester Airport and she got to see Concorde.
“They also fired up the jet engines on another plane and the wind force was incredibly strong, but Irene loved it.
“She had a great sense of humour and she said her secret to a long life was always ‘having a crumpet on a Friday’ which she had religiously.”
Dr Robert Chesnet, was looked after by Irene since he was a week old and she later became his doctor’s receptionist.
The 72-year-old, who now lives in Estepona, Spain, said Irene would travel over on her own even when she was 100-years-old.
He said: “She would get dropped off at Blackpool Airport and do it all by herself. She was very independent and a very strong character.
“She had a terrific sense of humour and was very plucky. She certainly knew her own mind.
“I’ve known her all my life and along with my daughter and wife, we were her family and we’ll miss her.”
Irene’s funeral will take place at Carleton Crematorium today at 2pm.
Anyone who wants to make a donation , it can be made to Trinity Hospice and only family flowers have been requested.