Four generations come together for Drayton man’s 100th birthday

Andrew Edwards, Ivy, John Edwards, Sandy Edwards, Tom Atkinson, Ben Edwards and Paula Edwards. Pictu

Andrew Edwards, Ivy, John Edwards, Sandy Edwards, Tom Atkinson, Ben Edwards and Paula Edwards. Picture: Julie Chapman-wright - Credit: Julie Chapman-wright

It was a family affair for a man from Drayton as four generations came together to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Tom Atkinson, who lives at Brooklands care home, celebrated the day with his daughter, grandchildren and great-grandson with a special party, and the traditional greetings telegram from the Queen.

Mr Atkinson is originally from Essex, but holidayed in Norfolk when he was a boy. Many years later he married his wife Beryl Atkinson and they both fell in love with the county and moved to North Walsham and then to Dereham.

When Mrs Atkinson died, Mr Atkinson, became a regular at the Norwich Bowling Club where he made many friends. He then moved to Costessey to be near them and continue his active life-style.

During the Second World War he was a radio operator with the Signal Corps. He was in the desert on operations when their daughter, Sandy was born. On return from the war, Mr Atkinson went on to work for the Post Office.

He has a daughter, Sandy Edwards, two grandchildren, Andrew Edwards, 50, and Paula Edwards aged 48, and a great-grandson Ben Edwards, 16. In 2015 he moved into Brooklands care home where he has continued to try and keep active and join in with activities.

Mr Aktinson's secret to a long life is to keep active and to play a lot of sport. He played tennis in his younger years and then went on to play bowls.

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He says: 'At 100, I feel my life is complete.'

The home put on a celebration buffet and local singer, Tony Cann, was invited to entertain Mr Atkinson, the residents and the 12 members of his family who joined him at the party, including his 94-year-old.

Julia Chapman Wright, home manager, said: 'This has been a very special day for all of us. Tom is a warm and kind gentleman, loved by all those who look after him at Brooklands. He enjoys visits from his family and takes part in as many activities as he can. He particularly enjoys our musical events.'