A PENSIONER believed to be East Lancashire’s oldest man has celebrated his 108th birthday.
Netherwood "Ned" Hughes, of Woodlands Home for the Elderly in Clayton-le-Moors, where he has lived for five years, reached the landmark birthday last Thursday and shows no signs of slowing down.
He was born to optician father John and Scottish mother Robina, in Lord Street, Great Harwood, on 12 June, 1900.
His earliest memory is of the Baptist Church in Great Harwood when he heard the noise of the builder’s trowels working on the building.
He spent most of his working life as a motor mechanic. While working as a delivery driver in 1917, Ned was one of the youngest drivers of a heavy goods vehicle and was one of the first people to be fined for breaking the 15mph speed limit.
In 1918 he was called up to serve in the First World War along with all the other drivers in England.
Following the war, he returned to England where he worked as a bus driver and set up business as a greengrocer in Wallasey before returning to Great Harwood to work for thr Bristol Aerospace Company, which later became British Aerospace.
Ned, who was the middle child of seven brothers and sisters, married twice, but is now a widower.
Manager Gail Heaney said: "He’s the oldest resident we have had at the home.
"He’s in very good health and he’s very friendly. He loves his pipe, the odd tot of whisky and chatting with the young girls. They all have a good laugh with him.
"Although he has no children of his own, his nephews often visit him.
"He used to enjoy walking in Great Harwood but he now likes sitting in the grounds smoking his pipe.
"He’s got lots of cards and a telegram from the Queen again.
"Every year he says: ‘She has the same frock on’."