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Zoom in

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Pensioner Celebrates 100th Birthday

Not many people get to celebrate their birthday and Christmas on the same day – and even less reach 100.

But on 25th December, this is what will happen to William Jones, who literally has spent his life having birthday and Christmases thrown into one.

Mr Jones, who is better known as Peter, will not mark becoming a centenarian with a tipple as he gave it up when he was 30.

His daughter Norma explained: “My mum always called my dad a lazy drinker because he used to drink in a club near his home every Sunday, but one day the club closed and rather than having to walk further for a pint he gave alcohol up all together.”

Mr Jones lives in a Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association house in Gregson Terrace, South Hetton.

He spent over 50 years down the mine and unlike many this tough occupation fortunately hasn’t affected his health.

When asked if he was looking forward to receiving a telegram from the Queen, Mr Jones, in his own inimitable style, said: “She has never sent me one before, so she doesn’t need to bother now.”

Mr Jones, whose wife Elizabeth died over 20 years ago, has four children, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

On Christmas Day he will mark his 100th birthday with lunch with some of his family, but he has asked for no fuss.

Presenting Mr Jones with a replica miners’ lamp to mark his birthday, Gordon Gray, Chief Executive of the Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA), said: “Doing presentations to mark special occasions like this is one of the nicest parts about my job and it is great to see Mr Jones fit and well. Let’s hope he has many more Christmas birthdays to come.”