Cumbernauld man Peter celebrates his 100th birthday

Peter Fleming celebrates with friends Mary Mackie, Christine Edwards and Graeme Edwards.
Peter Fleming celebrates with friends Mary Mackie, Christine Edwards and Graeme Edwards.

MONDAY was a red letter day for Kildrum man Peter Fleming, who celebrated his 100th birthday.

Peter was visited at his home by North Lanarkshire provost Tom Curley and Anne Walker, Depute Lord Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire, where he was presented with birthday cards, a commemorative bottle of whisky and, of course, a telegram from the Queen (who is herself celebrating a fairly big anniversary at the moment).

While being photographed, talented Peter took a moment to entertain his VIP guests with a tune on his keyboard.

“I’ve just been lucky,” said Peter of his longevity. “I have never been seriously ill in all my days.”

Peter was also congratulated on this milestone by Slater’s tailors in Stirling. He bought a suit there for his 99th birthday, and they said to come back for a free suit on his 100th - a promise they honoured.

Raised an only child in Partick, former British Rail engineer Peter has lived in Cumbernauld since 1961. Most of his working life - 49 years of it - was spent at the St. Rollox Works. As he was in a reserved occupation, he served World War II at Hampden Bombers in Derby and Barassie Works in Ayrshire, where his contribution to the war effort was to repair crippled Spitfires.

The love of Peter’s life was Betty, who passed away twelve years ago, just shy of the couple’s diamond wedding anniversary. Peter has no living relatives but a lot of friends including Mary Mackie and her family, who “adopted” him after Peter and Mary became friends at Kildrum Senior Citizens Club, which he attended until 2008.

Peter has certainly kept active for his entire life. As a singer, he has been in several choirs and was also a keen golfer, retaining a membership at Kirkintilloch Golf Club for a whopping 57 years. At the weekend, he returned there to renew old acquaintances as it was chosen as the venue for his birthday bash.

“I only gave up driving about five years ago, after I hit a police car,” said Peter, who still keeps his own house in Glencairn Road.

nAt the time of Peter’s birth in 1912, George V was on the throne. It was the year Titanic sank on her maiden voyage, and Captain Scott undertook his ill-fated Antarctic mission. Hollywood studio Paramount Pictures was founded in 1912, as was the Royal Flying Corps, which became the RAF.