Reg’s 100th birthday surprise

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A MODEL train enthusiast and former Post Office worker this week celebrated his 100th birthday.

Reginald Holdstock who lives at Anchor’s Bethune Court in Boscobel Road, St Leonards, with his wife Louisa, was thrown a surprise party on Tuesday (October 9) attended by friends and relatives.

Among the guests at the special celebration which took place at Bethune Court, were Mayor, councillor Alan Roberts and the Lord Lieutenant of the Royal Air Force, who presented Mr Holdstock with his birthday card from the Queen.

Mr Holdstock who has two sons, one granddaughter, and one great granddaughter, met his wife in De Marco’s Cafe, in Hastings.

They were married in 1935, and have lived locally ever since.

During the Second World War he worked on communications at Biggin Hill until it was bombed and then at the Naval Centre in Dover.

Mr Holdstock retired from the Post Office in 1972, where he received an Imperial Service Medal for his service.

Mr Holdstock was also a model train engine enthusiast.

He was part of the East Sussex Model Engineers, and made and drove one of the model steam engines on the railway in Alexandra Park.

Bethune Court manager Rhona Emmerich said that he had had no idea beforehand that there was a party being planned in his honour.

She added: “Mr Holdstock is a lovely person and a joy to work with.

“We arrange social activities to meet the interest of residents; from Tai Chi, pamper days, reminiscence groups and musical entertainment.

“Assisting in the arrangements of Mr Holdstock’s surprise part has been a great pleasure.”

Mr and Mrs Holdstock have lived at Bethune Court for the last eight years.

The world has changed beyond recognition since he was born in 1912.

Mr Holdstock has lived through two world wars, numerous Prime Ministers, and four monarchs.

He has also witnessed the introduction of the NHS, a man walking on the moon, and the advent of the digital age.

Television, computers and most recently the internet have rapidly become commonplace.