Resident Eric Pope feels blessed as he reaches 103
When Eric Pope was born the Suffragettes were campaigning for the rights of women to vote, the Titanic had months earlier struck an iceberg and the invention of the tank was still three years away.
Fast forward 103 years and a lot has changed but Eric’s dry sense of humour is not one of them. His key to a long and happy life is simple: “Keep breathing,” he says with a mischievous smirk.
For Eric, a resident at Maple Court, an extra care court in Swindon, the taste of his 103rd birthday cake is made all the more sweet by the fact he spent his 102nd birthday in hospital.
Now back at Maple Court he is enjoying life as much as ever and he took centre stage among his fellow residents, staff and the Mayor for his birthday party this week.
“It is really lovely here,” he said.
“Moving to Maple Court is one of the best things I have ever done. The people are just fantastic.”
Eric, who worked on the railways for 45 years as a welder, moved into Maple Court around five years ago after losing his beloved wife Ivy.
His 70-year-old son Robert said: “He’s doing so well, he really likes it here.
“It is great to see him reach another landmark after the scare we had last year. It’s amazing how he recovered after coming back to Maple Court and it’s really reassuring to know that he is here and gets the care and support he needs.
“He worked so hard on the railways that after that he just wanted a simple life and it seems that hasn’t done him any harm!”
Sue Temple, senior carer at Maple Court, said: “We are so proud of Eric he is an inspiration to other residents here and he just keeps going.
“He deserved a nice celebration this year. He is a miracle really and we are all so pleased to have him as a resident at Maple Court.”
Maple Court is an extra care scheme with 30 one bedroom apartments. It has a care team on-site 24 hours a day and its facilities include an activities room, salon and guest facilities.