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Harold hits 100!

PUBLISHED: 12:55 05 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:29 03 March 2010

BARHAM resident Harold Cross may have reached 100 but there is no mistaking the mischievous glint that still twinkles in his eye.

A country boy at heart Harold was born on March 2 1902 in the small village of Walberswick where he grew up among open fields and worked the land from an early age.

BARHAM resident Harold Cross may have reached 100 but there is no mistaking the mischievous glint that still twinkles in his eye.

A country boy at heart Harold was born on March 2 1902 in the small village of Walberswick where he grew up among open fields and worked the land from an early age.

While the rest of the world embraced the new century, making ground-breaking discoveries and ploughing the virgin earth of a new era. Harold was out in the fields in Suffolk working with his father and doing everything he could to earn a living.

"When I grew up there was not really much choice you either went to work on the land or you went to sea. I went out with my father and brother and even went rabbit catching to earn a living.

"Then I went to sea and I can still remember the first time I went out as a cabin boy with my dad."

Harold's devoted wife Ivy sits by him talking him through every word. While Ivy is a mere 89 she and Harold are inseparable and have lived their 69 years of married life very much together.

"I think the secret to Harold's long life is that we have been happy and contented for so long. Yes we have faced sadness but all in all we have been lucky," she said.

During the Second World War Harold was in the coast guards and regularly had to deal with the aftermath of attacks. He even puts his loss of hearing down to an explosion while he was on duty.

"I think an explosion damaged my ears and left me as deaf as I am now," he added.

Harold and Ivy now live at Red Barn Farm, Barham with their daughter and son-in-law.

Before this they ran a guesthouse in Walberswick for many years and Ivy said this is another reason they are still so happy together.

"We have always worked together, even before the guest house Harold had a dairy shop and milk round and I used to help out during the war. We have always done every thing together," she said.

Harold is far more philosophic in his approach to his long life.

"It is just very good luck. I have had a good life but it has had its ups and downs like any one else. I am not special I just happen to have had good luck," he said.

"I just hope they let me enjoy my birthday," he laughed, the glint in his eye unmistakable.

What else was happening in 1902?

The South African Peace Treaty agreement was signed. It was called the Peace of Vereeniging.

Legendary opera singer Enrico Caruso made the first gramophone recording.

The fossils of the Tyrannosaurus Rex were discovered by Barnum Brown in Hell Creek, Montana, USA.

Beatrix Potter wrote her first Peter Rabbit story.

Cuba gained independence from Spain.


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