A NINETY-year-old celebrated his birthday last Wednesday – with his older brother and sister. David Smith from Fenstanton went out to lunch at The Dolphin Hotel in St Ives with family including brother Don, 92 and sister Olive 94. Also there was his wife
A NINETY-year-old celebrated his birthday last Wednesday - with his older brother and sister.
David Smith from Fenstanton went out to lunch at The Dolphin Hotel in St Ives with family including brother Don, 92 and sister Olive 94.
Also there was his wife of over 60 years, Mona, aged 85.
Sitting in the spring sunshine, the three, who are all very active and appear about 20 years younger than they are, laughed and said they were not sure what the recipe was for a long healthy life.
The birthday boy, David, said it was "good living", Don said it was "not to worry" and Olive said: "I've no idea!"
However, remembering their childhood in Croxton, Olive said: "We had plenty of good food. We always went to school with a cooked breakfast, egg and bacon and fried bread - and sausage on Sunday. Our home was lovely, we had fields all around us and a wood at the back where we used to play."
Don said the baker, the butcher, the fishmonger and the grocer would all call at the gate, the baker called with a basket twice a week.
"If mother wanted more bread, he would give you a free twist. The fishmonger used to have an old cart and the butcher used to chop the meat on the back of the van and he'd give you two sausages if you were a good boy. The grocer knew all his stock off by heart he would ask you what you wanted: 'soap, soda, starch, blue blacklead, candles matches....'"
All three saw service in the war. At 11, Don had passed the exam to go to the grammar school but said his parents could not afford to pay to send him there. (Doris said it was because it was 13 miles away in Cambridge and too far).
Don was a wireless operator in the RAF serving in North Africa and Italy. David was in the Royal Engineers in the Middle East and Olive was a Land Army Girl. Her husband Cecil died a year ago after almost 60 years of marriage.
David said: "I left school at 14 and worked in a baker's shop and I used to go out with a three-wheeled tricycle with the bread and cakes. Then I worked in a brickyard in Bedford and I cycled from Croxton until I got a motorbike." Before being called up he was a clerk in an agricultural merchants office.
Neither David nor Olive have children but Don had a son and daughter and is now a great -grandfather.
Originally, there were six children, older brothers Ted and Bill have died and younger sister, Joyce, was at the party but refused to be in the picture on the grounds of being only in her 70s.