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Greenford man celebrates 100th birthday

A 100-year-old man from Greenford has celebrated his milestone birthday with a special celebration at Age UK Ealing’s Wellbeing Day Centre.

Charlie Hatfield, who was born on 20 June 1924, has lived in Ealing all his life and has been going to the day centre at Greenford Community Centre for the last eight years.

Joint day centre managers, Jan and Carolyn said: “We have had the pleasure of Charlie’s company for the last 8 years. He comes to the Wellbeing Day Centre once a week, participates in activities and socialises with others. He gives us great stories of his past and his life.”

They added: “He is a very smart dresser and takes pride in his appearance. He has been a poster figure on Age UK and ECT websites in the past. He likes a game of bingo, always chooses the dark chocolates as prizes when he wins.”

Mr Hatfield was wished a very happy birthday by staff, day centre clients, volunteers and local dignitaries Ealing deputy mayor Councillor Anthony Kelly and Councillor Aysha Raza.

Mr Hatfield said of attending the day centre: “Before I started coming to the Age UK Ealing Day Centre, I spent a lot of time on my own at home. It’s really made a difference being able to come here on a Thursday and make so many friends. Seeing all these people here today is just wonderful. I had no idea what my son and Jan & Carolyn had planned it was a lovely surprise.”

Guests enjoyed food, drink and were treated to live musical entertainment by day centre client, Hugh (86), a former JP who needed three costume changes to perform as Elvis, Tina Turner and finally Frank Sinatra where he and the guests sang along to My Way.

Mr Hatifeld was the third child of four siblings and a Arsenal supporter since his brother took him to his first match in the 1930s. He is a keen sportsman who also played bowls.

Before retiring, Mr Hatfield worked for London Transport for much of his career in the repair depot where his responsibilities included repairing fabrics for the iconic London double decker buses.

He was a reserve for the first two years of the Second World War before being called up at the age of 19 just two days after the Normandy Landings on 6 June 1944. His dad helped him to navigate the system to ensure he could complete his army training close to home in White City. His duties included driving tanks to the front line and repairing them.

Mr Hatfield met his wife, Marie in 1937 at the Lions Club in North Greenford. They married in 1939 and remained happily married for more than 60 years until she passed away at the age of 90. They moved into their current home in 1958 where Charlie still lives today.

Charlie’s son, Malcolm is a recently retired driver for Ealing Community Transport (ECT) who work closely with Age UK Ealing transporting clients.

His son Malcolm believes that the secret to his dad reaching such a milestone birthday is “being in the moment and worrying about right now rather than what might happen.’

Amongst the most significant events of Charlie’s life are meeting his wife, Marie and watching England winning the world cup in 1966.

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