A host of parties for charitable centenarian

Derek James wishes Alan Hutson a happy 100th birthday

Happy 100th birthday Alan!

Alan Hutson has just celebrated his 100th birthday with friends, family and former colleagues – and a whole host of parties.

But the new centenarian has asked people not to give him presents – but to donate to the church he has attended for many decades.

His parties included a big do at Caister Hall, a celebration at home, a tea-party hosted by his former boss and a birthday pub lunch on the day.

The celebrations on his actual birthday started with a Sunday morning church service at St Paul's, Tuckswood, where the congregation took a break from hymns to sing him Happy Birthday.

Alan has been a member of St Pauls for many years and instead of receiving birthday presents he asked for money for church funds.

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A big bash at Caister Hall saw the birthday boy, who has never owned a car, arrive by Rolls Royce. Later in the week the staff at the Harry Perry Close sheltered housing complex, where he lives, held another party for him, complete with cake and candles.

Alan was born in Norwich, brought up in Lowestoft, and spent almost all his working life at Jarrolds. He worked in the toy department for many years.

Alan has now been retired for 35 years, but kept busy with voluntary work. He guided many thousands of visitors around Norwich Cathedral and was a treasurer and cashier for the charitable Feed the Minds book fair.

He still loves the Cathedral and visits regularly.

Alan and his wife, Lillian, had one daughter, Helen, who said he had enjoyed the birthday celebrations stretching over several weeks.

She puts his longevity down to a healthy lifestyle. 'He walked everywhere and never owned a car,' she said. 'He did smoke heavily until he was about 60, but then he gave that up, and he has never eaten fast food.'

However, he and Helen do enjoy regular pub lunches in and around Norwich – and there is still a trip to London to look forward to, later this centenary year.