Centenarian farmer celebrates birthday with family - then returns to work (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Centenarian farmer celebrates birthday with family - then returns to work
A REMARKABLE North Yorkshire farmer has celebrated his 100th birthday with more than 100 members of his family, before returning to his busy week.
When Walter Bainbridge was born the First World War had not yet started, the Titanic had just sunk and the women’s suffrage movement was in full swing.
But on Sunday (October 6) the hard-working farmer celebrated his 100th birthday surrounded 170 members of his family and friends. They included 34 grandchildren, 46 great grandchildren and 11 great, great grandchildren.
A former Methodist preacher for more than 60 years, the day started with Mr Bainbridge giving a sermon at his local chapel in Seamer, where his daughter read a lesson and his granddaughter led prayers.
He then spent nine hours with his guests in a marquee on the lawn of his home in the village near Stokesley.
Mr Bainbridge says it took him six hours to open and read all his cards.
“I started at 10am and finished at 4pm; opening the cards, taking them out and reading them. I read every one,” he said.
“When I finished I felt I ought to reply by sending a thank you, but I don’t know how I’ll find the time to do that.”
But the following day he returned to work on the farm, Great Holmes Farm, where he has farmed since the early 1940s and now runs with his two sons and two grandsons. Mr Bainbridge has five daughters and six sons in total.
The sprightly centenarian recently had his driving licence renewed until 2015 and still drives himself to auction marts in Hexham, Carlisle and Penrith, where he buys cattle for their 250 acre farm.
Speaking at Applegarth Mart in Northallerton today (Tuesday, October 8), while he waited to sell his butchers heifers, he said: “I’ve always worked hard, I’ve never been out of a job. There’s always something to do every day, I never get finished.
“I don’t call it hard work, it’s just what you get used to.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do when I retire.”
Mr Bainbridge has been a regular visitor to Northallerton auction mart since the 1930s, which itself is only 101 years old.
The centenarian put down his longevity to his spiritual practices, which involves daily prayer and meditation.
“I spent about an hour a day reading the scriptures, meditating and in prayer. I do that every morning. That’s probably what keeps me in good health. ” he said.
He immediately added: “But I’m still a poor old farmer.”
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