Three milestone birthdays within days have marked more than three centuries of living for a group of Buxton care home residents.
July has been a special month at The Hawthorns as two residents marked their centenary and one grandmother celebrates her 101st birthday.
Former RAF motor mechanic Alan Grindley turned 100 on July 16, while Irene Hayes toasted her big 100 on July 22. And the care home’s oldest resident, Eileen Fletcher, celebrates her 101st birthday today (Thursday).
Alan said: “I had a brilliant day, one I will never forget.”
To celebrate his special day 80 people joined him for a meal at the Old Hall Hotel.
Alan was born near Old Trafford and moved to St Anne’s after leaving school. His father got him a job at a car manufacturer, where he worked until he was called up to fight in the Second World War.
“I was in the RAF for six years and it took me all over the Far East, to Burma and India,” he explained.
“I would never have thought I would have seen as much of the world as I have. I’ve also been to South Africa - before then the furthest I had travelled was the Isle of Man.”
A shrapnel wound put him out of service for nine weeks. When he eventually left the armed forces, he joined the civil service which brought a move to Derbyshire.
Earlier this month, during Buxton Carnival, Alan had been sitting watching the parade when Chapel-en-le-Frith Brass Band stopped outside the home and treated him to an impromptu performance of ‘Happy Birthday’.
Alan said: “That was really something else, I wasn’t expecting that.”
He also received a letter from a high ranking RAF officer thanking him for his service and offering birthday wishes.
High Peak Mayor George Wharmby got involved with the birthday celebrations and was there for Irene’s big day.
Irene, who had balloons taped to her zimmer frame to mark the occasion, said: “I have had a nice letter from The Queen with her picture on it and it’s lovely.”
She celebrated her special day with friends and family and received a special birthday cake.
The residential home’s oldest resident, Eileen, lives with her sister and was one of ten children growing up.
She said: “I have always been very happy. I like being with my family.”
She claims cups of OXO are the secret to her long life, drinking them after school when she was a little girl.