Hollywood star’s Islington aunt turns 100

�The auntie of Bob Hoskins turned 100 this week – and celebrated with four generations of her family.

Lifelong Islington resident Ethel Hoskins and her relatives partied at St Anne’s nursing home, in Durham Road, Finsbury Park, on Friday – the day before she reached her century.

Her daughter Peggy Hinds, 72, said: “It was a lovely day and we’re really grateful to the home because they put on a smashing do.

“She was overwhelmed with it all. She can’t walk much because she’s in a wheelchair – but she’s still got all of her marbles.

“She just can’t believe she got to that age, and we’re overjoyed – we hope she reaches 101!

“I don’t know if she’s got any secret – but she used to like a stout of Guinness years ago. I don’t know whether that had anything to with it!”

Mrs Hoskins, the last of 10 brothers and sisters, is a war widow who raised three children as a single parent. She lived in Essex Road, Islington, for 55 years, and was a beer bottler for the Whitbread Beer Company.

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Bob Hoskins, star of Mona Lisa and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, is the son of her brother-in-law, who died a few years ago. She last saw the Hollywood actor at the funeral.

Mrs Hinds, of Pembroke Street, Islington, added: “We don’t see much of him – he lives in a different world to us now.”

Meanwhile, just across the road and only a few days later, a letter from the Queen arrived for another centenarian.

Alice Heath, a resident of Lennox House care home, also in Durham Road, who used to live in Westbourne Road, Holloway, celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday. She started the day at the Whittington Hospital, in Magdala Avenue, Archway, where she was being treated for an infection.


In a race against the clock, she was rushed back so that she could enjoy the moment with her five great-grandchildren and all the family in the home’s more agreeable surroundings.

Her son David Heath, 74, a former black cab driver, said: “It was a bit panicked getting it all together. It was a close call, but she was happier being back there and out of the hospital.

“She’s been a good mother all her life and looked after us all.

“She hasn’t done anything extraordinary to reach this age – I think it’s just down to healthy eating and being active. And she never gets worked up over anything – perhaps that’s the secret.”