Gardening and walking kept 100-year-old Stamford woman Nell young

Frances Rentowl , 100-year-old at Priory Care Home, Stamford EMN-160430-180241009
Frances Rentowl , 100-year-old at Priory Care Home, Stamford EMN-160430-180241009

A woman who attributes her longevity to a lifetime of gardening and walking has just celebrated her 100th birthday. Frances Eleanor Rentowl, known to all as Nell, was born on April 28, 1916 in Bethlehem - a small farming village in Wales.

She was the youngest of nine children. Nell’s father was a forester and the family moved around with his job, often living in large houses on the country estates where he worked.

On leaving school, Nell began work as an accounts clerk in Watford, then St Albans with a period spent commuting to London. During this time she met Bob Rentowl and they married in 1940. The couple set up home in Park Street, near St Albans, where Bob worked for Handley Page, constructing Halifax bombers during the war, and they had a son called Chris. Nell and Bob moved to Huntingdon in 1987 to be closer to Chris and his family. Nell was widowed in 1993. The other love of her life has always been her grandchildren, Tim and Alison – and more recently her great grandchildren, Barnaby and Imogen. After a short spell in hospital in February, Nell move to Stamford’s Priory Court Care Home, where she enjoys visits and outings with the family. She celebrated her 100th birthday with a tea party attended by40 family members and friends.