Buxton man celebrates 104th birthday

A Buxton man is celebrating his 104th birthday today after revealing the secret to a long life is smiling and staying healthy.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 5:00 pm

Norman Brittain was born on July 5, 1917.

As he celebrates his birthday, his daughter Jean has spoken to The Advertiser looking back on his life and marking the milestone.

She said: “He’s having a quiet day with friends and family dropping in to say hello but not much fuss.

Norman with his family and carers celebrating his 104th birthday. Picture submitted
Norman with his family and carers celebrating his 104th birthday. Picture submitted

"He didn’t really want anything as a present but his razor has broken so we’ve got him a nice new one.”

Norman was born in Peak Dale and went to Peak Dale Primary school and then Buxton College and Jean recalls him telling tales of walking across the snowy hills to get to college every day.

The former accountant worked various jobs until he was called up for World War Two.

During his service he visited, Iceland, France, Holland and was de-mobbed from Germany.

Jean said: “He’s always been healthy - he never drank or smoke and when he used to get his daily tot of whiskey he used to give it to someone else.

"He stayed in contact with some of his army friends although many of them are now deceased.”

Norman, who lives on Brown Edge Road in Buxton, was one of five children but is the last one alive after losing his brother in the war and his other siblings including his twin sister, over the years.

Jean said: “Dad married in 1943 but sadly lost his wife, my mum, Mary aged 99 years in December 2020 after 77 years of marriage.

"They used to go on holidays to Scarborough and stay in the Methodist House over there as he was a very active Methodist all his life.

“After moving to Buxton from Peak Dale he became very involved with Fairfield Methodist Church on Fairfield Road but when that shut down he feels that part of his life is gone now.”The father-of-two, granddad-of-two and great granddad-of-two was poorly with aspiration pneumonia and hospitalised between March and May this year with Jean saying it was touch and go but he pulled through.

Now he has been discharged home with care given by High Peak Carers Ltd.

Jean added: “So happy birthday Dad from all your family, friends and carers.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. – Louise Cooper, editor.