Saltfleet man has 100 reasons to celebrate!

Frank 'Harold' Holmes celebrates his 100th birthday.
Frank 'Harold' Holmes celebrates his 100th birthday.

A Saltfleet man celebrated his 100th birthday this week - and he still lives on the same street where he was born!

Frank Holmes, known by his middle name Harold, turned 100 on Monday (November 25) and celebrated with visiting family members at his home in Pump Lane, Saltfleet.

Frank 'Harold' Holmes celebrates his 100th birthday alongside daughters Sue Wilson and Sheena Mee.

Frank 'Harold' Holmes celebrates his 100th birthday alongside daughters Sue Wilson and Sheena Mee.

Not only has Harold lived on the same street for his whole life - working on his nearby farm until he was in his early 80s - he had remarkably never been in hospital until just three months ago when he fell and broke his hip.

Harold told the Leader: “I was still cutting my lawn and hedges until I was in my nineties! I think all the hard work is why I have lived so long.”

One of Harold’s daughters, Sue, interjected: “That, and cake! Dad says ‘never eat bread if you can have cake instead!’”

As a young man, Harold also played as a goalkeeper for the village’s football club - and was affectionately known as ‘Tiny’ - at the height of 6’ 4”.

He was also a keen darts player until his later life, even winning the local darts club’s ‘Personality of the Year’ in 1977. He continues to enjoy watching football and darts on television to this day.

To the best of anyone’s knowledge, Harold is by far the oldest person in Saltfleet.

And having lived in the village all his life, he has seen plenty of changes over the decades.

Harold said: “I can still remember the very first road being built through Saltfleet. The main road used to just be stones. Also, boats and barges used to come along the river at the back of the lane, but that was a long while back. There have been lots of changes!”

His working life changed over the years too, of course, with modern-day mechanical tractors replacing his horses on the farm in the 1950s.

So, why has Harold decided to stay in the same village and lane for the last century?

He said: “This is where I have worked all my life, and it’s always been a nice quiet village. I’ve even got a street, called ‘Holmes Close’, named after me because I sold that bit of land many years ago.”

Sue said: “It’s something a bit different, isn’t it? It is nice because both of us [Sue, and her sister, Sheena] 
have both got married and we’re not Holmes’ any more - but the road is there to carry our dad’s name forward.”