Centenarians celebrate birthdays

SOMETHING must be in the air in Felixstowe as two of the resort's oldest residents have celebrated special milestones.

SOMETHING must be in the air in Felixstowe as two of the resort's oldest residents have celebrated special milestones.

While Charles Wheatley - now living in a residential home he once ran as a guest house - was enjoying his 100th birthday, a few streets away Dick Jervis was looking back over a life of 103 years.

Mr Jervis, who lives at Coniston residential home in Garfield Road, moved with his wife Kathleen, who died two years ago aged 99, to Felixstowe from Ipswich after the second world war, living first in Grange Road and later Manor Terrace for more than 50 years.

He worked as a coach and bus driver, particularly enjoying being a coach tour guide taking parties all over East Anglia.

“It was great fun - I loved exploring the region and part of my job was to describe to the passengers what they could see,” he said.

“My favourite run was to Sandringham, that was always a little bit special.”

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Mr Jervis, who has a daughter Janet, and is a grandfather and great-grandfather, was at school in the first world war. He still has clear memories of it including seeing a flaming Zeppelin flying past before it crashed at Theberton.

“I am confined to a bed now and cannot see out of one eye, but I still enjoy answering the questions on the Weakest Link and the staff here are wonderful to me,” he added.

Doncaster-born Mr Wheatley left school at 14 to work in a lace factory, then as an electrician.

He married Agnes when he was 19 and bravely asked his boss for a pay rise - only to be sacked instead.

Later he got work on the railway, before moving to Felixstowe in 1942 as an inspector for the water board.

He bought White Gables, in Stanley Road, in 1946 and ran it as a guest house - selling it in 1982 to Trevor Lewis, father of the present owner, for a residential home, where he has lived for the past two years.

Mr Wheatley's wife Agnes died in 1986 and he married family friend and carer Eileen, who is in her 70s, in 1987.

He has been very involved with the Bethesda Baptist Church in Felixstowe for 40 years.

Would you like to live to 100? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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