Exning's Roland celebrates 100th birthday at Bedford Lodge
Roland Hutchinson was surrounded by family and friends as he celebrated his 100th birthday with a special party.
Nearly 80 guests were at the Bedford Lodge, including a family who had made a special trip from the United States to be with Roland as he marked his centenary.
Now a resident at Exning Court, in Exning, Roland spent more than 20 years living in Red Lodge and was a regular church goer, which was where he met US serviceman Ben Tayor and his family.Ben is now back in the United States but was determined not to miss Roland’s special day and made the trip back ‘across the pond’ with his wife Lea and their two young sons to join the celebration.
The party was organised by Roland’s grandson Craig and the Bury Road location brought back memories of James Hutchinson, Roland’s father who worked for trainer Peter Gilpin at Clarehaven Stables where he looked after one of the greatest fillies in English racing history, Pretty Polly, winner of the 1,000 Guineas and Oaks in 1904.
One of nine brothers and sisters, Roland traces his roots back to Northumberland. During World War Two he served as a sergeant in the Royal Engineers and later worked in Hertfordshire for Cresta Silks, the textile and clothes designer.His wifeAndrewina died 12 years ago, five years after they celebratedtheir diamond wedding.
Until a couple of years ago,Roland was still living on his own, but after suffering some falls he was persuaded to move to Exning Court by his grandson.
“He is phenomenal,” said Craig.
“I travel up from Sussex to see him every weekend and he is thriving. Whenever I take him out people say to him ‘if I ever live to 100, I just hope I look as good as you’.”