Former Buckingham Palace guest from East Harling turning 90 with Queen

Ivan Noble of East Harling, who shares his 90th birthday with the Queen, pictured holding a photogra

Ivan Noble of East Harling, who shares his 90th birthday with the Queen, pictured holding a photograph of the Queen he was sent when they both had their 80th birthday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Last year Her Majesty became the UK's longest reigning monarch, but she's not the only one who's spent a long time in one post.

Ivan Noble, who will be celebrating his 90th birthday on the same day as the Queen, spent his entire working life from the age of 14 on the same farm in Garboldisham.

Mr Noble, from East Harling, received a long service award for his lifetime's work at Hall Farm – the same place his father spent much of his working life.

He was born in Palgrave, in Suffolk, in 1926. His family moved to Garboldisham a year later and he has lived in Norfolk ever since. He had two siblings, older sister Margaret and younger brother Dennis.

Of growing up in 1930s Norfolk, Mr Noble said: 'We had quite a normal life. My siblings and I made our own entertainment as we went along, as there was no radio or television back then.'


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Mr Noble said he began work at Hall Farm the day after he left school aged 14, working for three generations of the same family and then a new owner.

'When I left school, when the war was starting, there wasn't much else to do around here. There were no factories, it was farm work or forestry. I started working at the farm and enjoyed it, so I stayed there,' he said.

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During the Second World War Mr Noble was part of the Air Training Corps (ATC), but was never called up to serve.

He also served with the Royal Observer Corps from 1944 to 1945, with which he spent time in a nuclear bunker near Garboldisham equipped with supplies, food and electricity.

He met his future wife Eileen, from Kenninghall, while working at Hall Farm. The couple married in 1955, when they were both 29, and were given a cottage at Hall Farm to live in. They had one daughter, Anne, now 49.

Mrs Noble died from cancer aged 51. Anne was only 11 at the time, but Mr Noble had help from his employers at the farm to look after her.

After retiring, Mr Noble carried on living in his cottage at Hall Farm for ten years before he moved to East Harling around 15 years ago, where he still lives independently.

Anne and her husband of seven years Carl Kindleysides now live in the farm cottage.

Despite saying he is 'not very patriotic', Mr Noble has already celebrated a birthday with the Queen. He was invited to a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace ten years ago as they both celebrated their 80th birthdays.

He went with Anne and said he caught a glimpse of the Queen 'from a distance'.

'In the afternoon we were sitting having cake and a cup of tea and she came out with Prince Philip,' he said. 'People were getting up to see her.'

Mr Noble was also among six women and two men who share their birthdays with the Queen to be invited to a special celebration at Norwich Cathedral in 2006, attended by the Bishop of Norwich and the county's High Sheriff. He also attended the event with Anne, an employee at Norfolk County Council.

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