Performer Iris takes final bow
5:30am Thursday 17th April 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
STAR of the stage Iris Boulton has bowed out for the last time as she died just weeks after her 100th birthday.
Iris, originally from Llanelli, leaves behind daughters Laraine, 70, and Christine, 67, as well as son David, 66, seven grandsons and 15 great-grandchildren.
A natural performer, she used to tour with theatre companies and pantomimes around the country, earning her the nickname The Little Fairy.
After being diagnosed with dementia in 2005, Iris celebrated her centenary in style surrounded by family and friends on March 9, before passing away on April 12.
“It was almost as if she said ‘I have done that now, so I can go to sleep’,” said Laraine.
“On the day of her 100th birthday she almost seemed as though she was enjoying herself. She said to me, ‘Look at all these people who are here, and I do not know any of them’.
“For about a month before her birthday we kept saying to her about the card she was going to get from the Queen.
“She was very frail, and I think she just thought her time was now. Last week she had a bout of sickness and she just did not recover. She could not eat or drink or else she would choke. It was just her time.
“My brother and I sat with her for the last few days and took it in turns to stay by her bedside.
“I just said to her if you have got to go then we will not mind. It was a bit of a release for her.”
Iris kept her theatrical exploits close to her chest after she started a family, but remnants have been left.
“I have got an autograph at home from George Formby, in an autograph book which has lots of names I don’t know who she would have worked with many years ago,” added Laraine.
“We used to have a great big trunk she used to take around with her everywhere with all her costumes in. It also used to be our holiday trunk when we would go away in the summer.
“She used to take me to the Classic theatre just off Rodbourne Road. They would change the picture every few days and I went with her every time. I do not remember much of it but she was a huge fan of Laraine Day, and that is where I got my name.
“She was just a kind and caring person and a lovely mum. She always made sure there was food on the table and she was a good manager of money.
“Her mother used to live in London during the war so mum used to take me up there every two weeks. I was only a baby but she used to look after me during the air raids. She lived through some tough times but she was always there for us.”
A service will be held at Kingsdown Crematorium on April 29 at 11.15am, introduced by one of Iris’ favourite songs, Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland “If there was a piano around she would go and play it,” said Laraine. “She would sing The Laughing Policeman and have us all in fits.”