Copious cups of tea the key to Jim’s long life!

Copious cups of tea the key to Jim’s long life!

Care home resident Jim Howard celebrated his 102nd birthday in style on Valentine’s Day, with a very special get-together with friends, family, staff and fellow residents at Brendoncare Froxfield. When asked the secret to a long and healthy life, he says he puts his longevity down to “a sense of humour, along with copious cups of tea and a very strong will!”.

Born in Harrow on 14th February 1914, shortly before the outbreak of the First World War, Jim grew up in Mortlake and loved cycling around Barnes Common and Richmond Park, as well as along the Thames towpath. As a teenager, he joined the Territorial Army, and also worked as a butcher’s delivery boy, before taking on a job as car driver for the Admiralty in London.

At the start of the Second World War, Jim joined the RAF, but his driving skills and experience led him to become a driver of aircraft and ammunition transporters from a base in Liverpool, delivering across Europe to Italy. Following the war, he spent almost 40 years as a postman in Hammersmith, a job he really loved, where his kindness and sense of humour made him many friends on his daily rounds.

A stroke at the age of 90 was, according to Jim’s family, his first real illness, and left him unable to swallow. Doctors thought it unlikely he would ever be able to eat again. However, after five years of peg feeding, Jim woke one morning with a desperate craving for his wife’s scrambled eggs! She relented and served him a plateful, and he ate it all with relish, surprising his wife, family and doctors!

Jim has been living at Brendoncare Froxfield since February 2015, following a spell in hospital after a fall. His daughter Lynn, with her husband David, granddaughter Faye and husband Stephen, along with Jim’s great-granddaughters Maddy and Josie came to the home on Valentine’s Day to join staff and residents in wishing Jim a very happy 102nd birthday.

On his 101st birthday, his son-in-law David asked him if he had any ambitions left. He replied, “Yes, to make 102!”

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