Breckland’s oldest man celebrates his 108th birthday

A popular south Norfolk man is proving that keeping active can help you enjoy a long and healthy life as he marks his 108th birthday today.

Edward Williams, of Great Ellingham, near Attleborough, is believed to be the oldest resident in the Breckland district and is just five years younger than the oldest living person in the UK.

Last year, the great-grandfather told the EDP that 'being good and active' was the key to longevity and his advice appears to be paying off as he continues to amaze friends and family with his lust for life.

Mr Williams was born in Cardiff on December 15, 1903, and was one of thirteen children.

He was named after the recently crowned King in the year which also saw the Wright brothers launch the era of powered flight and the first Harley Davidson motorcycle came off the production line.

Aged just 11 at the outbreak of World War, Mr Williams missed military service and was apprenticed as a cabinet maker between 1916 and 1923.

The father-of-four turned his hand to a number of jobs throughout his working life but returned to wood work in his 80s following the death of his wife Catherine. Aged 97 he was still making cradles for his growing number of grandchildren – now numbering seven, alongside nine great-grandchildren.

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Mr Williams moved to Norfolk to live with his daughter Christina and her husband Robin five years ago, but previously he looked after himself at his Cardiff home where he was well-regarded by his neighbours.

He was officially crowned a Neighbour from Heaven at a national awards event in 2003 and was given the title of Capital Citizen of the Century in 2005.

Mr Williams has always been fond of literature and honed his speaking skills as a long-time member of the Masons.

Last year his love of the arts was recognised when he was appointed the Honorary President of community choir The Village Singers.

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