100 years old and still working

John Sandersoncelebrated his 100th birthday on Thursday.
John Sandersoncelebrated his 100th birthday on Thursday.
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An energetic 100-year-old from Bury St Edmunds is still working as a self-employed accountant.

Grandfather-of-two John Sanderson reached 100 yesterday but says he is still long off full retirement.

He grew up in Yorkshire, living there until he was 24, and moved to Suffolk with his late wife Dorothy 50 years ago.

They originally moved to Chedburgh, built a house in Great Barton and later moved to Bury St Edmunds.

John said the secret to a long life was good genes and keeping yourself busy.

“I have been a self-employed accountant all my life, he said.

“In fact, I still have a few older clients who I work for.

“Number one, I came from a long-living family.

“My grandfather lived to 90 and both my grandmothers lived to 93.

“The other thing is I haven’t retired and that keeps me going.

“I guess I am a bit different from most 100 year olds.

“It’s not clever that I have lived so long – it’s just good fortune.

“I’m just an ordinary bloke.”

John’s wife Dorothy, known as Dot, died in June, aged 99.

They were married for 75 years.

“She is still the nicest person I have ever met,” he said.

“She missed her 100th by just six months.”

John said he didn’t want a party or any presents for his birthday.

“If someone comes along I would invite them in and give them a drink but I am not having a party.

“I don’t want any presents.

“I have got everything I need and besides I haven’t got any more room in the house for anything else.”

John said he had some very interesting roots in Yorkshire.

“My great, great, great, great grandfather Francis Sanderson was a schoolmaster at Great Ayton,” he said.

“The school is a museum now because one of his pupils was a boy named James Cook.

“He later went on to become Captain Cook.”