It was a street party fit for a monarch - and just as the country came out in force to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday last year, so the residents of Lammas Road in Dogsthorpe joyfully toasted Henry Jeffery as he reached the grand age of 100.
Bar the bunting, Saturday’s street party was a regal affair for Henry (real name Harry), and as is fitting for a man who still dances and cycles there was no let up in the celebrations with several events planned to commemorate a life filled with happy memories.
Her Majesty was one of dozens of people to send their warm regards to Henry on Tuesday with a card as he reached his milestone, and yesterday a party was held at the Wesleyan Road Allotment Gardens where he grew vegetables for 28 years until he reached 96 years of age.
Another celebration is also planned at the weekend with the centenarian’s family to cap off a joyful week.
Describing Saturday’s street party, Henry said: “There were lots of people there and we had cakes, wine and everything else. Beautiful it was.
“I was surprised, but I had an inkling of it. My niece gave me a little hint about it to make sure I was at home. I was extremely pleased and astounded they had gone to so much trouble for me. They gave me a really good party.
“Then at night I went dancing at the Parkway Club and there was another little party for me. I go usually about once a week or fortnight and do ballroom dancing - foxtrots and waltzes.”
Henry, grew up with three sisters in Stone Lane, Millfield and attended Lincoln Road School. He began working at high class cabinet making firm Watkins and Stafford aged 12, then started making parts for Wellington Bombers during the Second World War.
He joined the army in 1944 and served as a driver in France, Germany and Palestine. Reflecting on his service abroad, Henry said: “I did not see any action but I saw the results of it. From my point of view it was hard but I enjoyed it in a way. It took me all over the place and I experienced everything.”
Three years before joining the army Henry married Marjorie, and the couple were together for 50 years before Marjorie passed away.
“She was a bit petite but very strong and lovely to me. She was the best woman I ever knew, and I loved her very much,” said Henry.
Following the war Henry returned to Watkins and Stafford but moved to NewallsEngineering in Woodston.
Henry was also a keen cyclist in his youth and still cycles occasionally.
Reflecting on his 100 years, Henry said: “When I was growing up we were very happy, in a way happier and more carefree than anyone growing up now. I have enjoyed my life and all the people I know.”