GOOD friends, being happy and dancing are the secrets to long life according to an Aberystwyth woman who recently celebrated her 100th birthday.

To mark the occasion, Iris Brown, who was born on 25 April 1923, received a card from His Majesty the King.

Iris and her family moved to Aberystwyth from South Wales when she was a baby.

Speaking to the Cambrian News, she said: “My father was a miner at Blaengwynfi.

“Some time after we moved, I remember my mum going to London to work with her sister, possibly cleaning or working as a housekeeper.

“I’ve lived here most of my life, all of my life really. I used to work in maternity in Bronglais Hospital and worked in a local shop until I was 95. I was very happy in both jobs, and have good memories of both places.

“Years ago, when the war broke out, I was about sixteen and we used to dance in the King’s hall on the seafront. I loved dancing - the waltz, rumba, all those. I was part of a book club too.

Iris Brown
When asked about the secret to long life, Iris said: "I’ve got good friends and I keep happy, I danced a lot too." (Cambrian News)

“I got married when I was 25. My husband was a wonderful man.”

Not long after her 100th birthday, Ms Brown got a letter through her door. Describing the day, she said: “I remember thinking ‘what’s this?’ I was thrilled when I saw what it was, an anniversary letter from his Majesty.”

Ms Brown keeps herself busy at home in the heart of the town, and gets her hair done every two weeks. She said: “I get my hair done every fortnight, and go to the doctors in the week.

“I went for a check up on my pacemaker the other day and someone asked a young woman about me - ‘do you know how old she is?’ I was thrilled when the young woman said ‘about 70.”

What’s her secret to a long life? Ms Brown said: “I don’t know, my mother lived to 102, but I think I’ve been very lucky myself. I’ve got good friends and I keep happy, I danced a lot too, I loved dancing.

“I’ve got a good family, my daughter brings me food and shopping every Friday, and comes to visit about four or five times a week.”