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Centenarian puts secret of long life down to ‘hard work’

PUBLISHED: 09:10 08 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:10 08 October 2020

Stanley Clover celebrating his 100th birthday. Picture: Mick Howes

Stanley Clover celebrating his 100th birthday. Picture: Mick Howes

Archant

From falling out of a tree weeks before his 96th birthday, to painting an 80 metre long fence on his 97th birthday, few could begrudge Stanley Clover from putting his feet up and taking a deserved rest this week.

Stanley Clover in his younger days, as he celebrates his 100th birthday. Picture: The Clover familyStanley Clover in his younger days, as he celebrates his 100th birthday. Picture: The Clover family

For it was a time to relax and celebrate as he marked a special centenary on Monday with his family, staff and residents at Grandora Care Lodge in Blundeston, near Lowestoft.

Stanley Clover has celebrated his 100th birthday. Picture: The Clover familyStanley Clover has celebrated his 100th birthday. Picture: The Clover family

Balloons, celebratory cake and a drop of whisky were enjoyed as Mr Clover marked his 100th birthday.

Stanley Clover has celebrated his 100th birthday. With his wife Iris. Picture: The Clover familyStanley Clover has celebrated his 100th birthday. With his wife Iris. Picture: The Clover family

Born on October 5, 1920 at Dovercourt in Essex, Mr Clover moved with his family to Dagenham, East London, where they all worked on the land and then opened two greengrocers.

Stanley Clover, who has celebrated his 100th birthday, with his sister Doris when they were younger. Picture: The Clover familyStanley Clover, who has celebrated his 100th birthday, with his sister Doris when they were younger. Picture: The Clover family

After joining the RAF in 1940 Mr Clover worked as a mechanic on Spitfire engines, with much of his time spent in the Middle East, until he returned back to Dagenham in 1945. After meeting his future wife at Ilford, he married Iris and the couple would have a daughter, Angela.

The family sold the two greengrocers to raise the deposit for a farm in Huntingfield, near Halesworth that they bought and moved to in 1947. After moving into Valley Farm with his parents, brother Ron and sister Doris, Mr Clover worked on the mixed farm until it was sold in 1979.

He remained in and around Huntingfield until 2018, and for the past 16 months he has been a resident at Grandora Care Lodge in Blundeston.

His sister Doris – who herself is almost 98 – is based at a care home in Felixstowe.

Admitting the secret to his longevity was down to “hard work”, the love of homecooked food and the strength of a very closely-knit family, his daughter Angela Clover said: “I would say stubborness and an independent spirit also helped.”

“I never ever once heard him criticise or complain about his parents or his siblings... and they all worked in the family business together which makes it even more unbelievable.”

Admitting he was determined to reach his 100th birthday milestone, she recalled: “Dad was up a tree to cut a branch off when he fell – that was a month before his 96th birthday.

“Although he cracked two ribs and was badly bruised, I think the biggest damage by far was the realisation that he was not able to climb trees any more.

“I visited him on his 97th birthday and he apologised profusely but said he couldn’t stop long to speak as it was such a lovely warm day that he needed to make the most of it and get on with painting his fence. The fence was about 80m long.”

Delighted to honour his 100th birthday, Maxine Burnett, manageress at Grandora Care Lodge, said: “Stanley has been with us 16 months and he speaks to his sister every day on the telephone, and he still does a crossword every day.”


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