A KEEN gardener with a 'never give-up' attitude celebrated his 100th birthday on Wednesday.

John Carr celebrated the occasion with family and friends at Ryeview Manor in Keep Hill Road, High Wycombe.

He was born on 25 June, 1914 at Parkfield, Chapel Lane, Sands, one of nine children to loving parents and a close knit family who remained linked throughout their lives. His childhood was a very happy one, of which he has many vivid memories.

After leaving school in 1928 he started work as an apprentice grocer at the International Stores, Church Street, High Wycombe.

He met his wife Hannah known as Nancy in 1934. Four years later they were married in Nancy’s home village Ynysddu, South Wales and had a very happy marriage that was to last 62 years.

Married life started in Lane End, where John worked for the local grocers Warren & Sons.

After serving six years with the RAF and the birth of their daughter Pauline, he and Nancy took over and then bought the Lane End Temperance Hotel building.

Through hard work and long hours they built a thriving grocery business, which also supplied the surrounding villages with a free delivery service for over 25 years.

On retiring he spent many happy hours in their much loved garden at The Cottage, Handleton Common, Lane End.

John’s hobbies included carpentry work, oil painting and playing his Hammond organ - which he still plays. He and Nancy enjoyed an active social life, they also had a villa in Moraira, Spain - spending many happy holidays there with family, friends, their daughter, son-in-law Peter and grandsons James and Nick.

Nancy sadly died in 2000 who is still sadly missed. John’s eyesight deteriorated at that time, being diagnosed with macular degeneration.

However, he was not deterred - as he continued to mow his lawn with white plastic bucket markers, helping his friend John in the garden. He enjoyed listening to talking books, the Bucks Free Press tapes and the radio.

He lived in his own cottage for many years independently - with help from family and friends in the latter years.

For the past eight months he has happily resided in Ryeview Manor Care Home.

The family has grown with the addition of Laura and his great grandson Charlie John - who he adores.

His daughter, Pauline Farrar, said: "John has said that he has been blessed with a very happy life, wonderful marriage and good health. A kind humorous man, always willing to help others. His never give-up attitude has enabled him to reach the grand age of 100. Those who know him are full of admiration and are very proud of his achievement."