Former speed skater celebrates 100th birthday

David Beattie celebrates his 100th birthday
David Beattie celebrates his 100th birthday

A former speed skater now living in Haywards Heath celebrated his 100th birthday.

David Beattie was joined by West Sussex County Council’s Peter Catchpole, cabinet member for health and adults’ services, and county catering manager John Figgins. They helped him celebrate by delivering a gift hamper of Sussex food products – put together by Pallant of Arundel.

Mr Beattie has been using the Meals on Wheels service for around three years, since moving back to the area to be closer to his family.

Mr Beattie said: “I think it’s very good – I always look forward to having my meal. You couldn’t take me to many restaurants where I’d enjoy a lunch more.”

He was born in Scotland but moved to London during the war and worked on several large engineering projects around the country including designs for royal palaces. He also competed as a speed skater in his younger days picking up several medals before an injury.

He still keeps himself in good shape and walks regularly – even continuing after undergoing heart surgery at 87.

He said: “I try to keep active. “I’ve had a good life and I don’t feel any different now that I’m 100 – the only thing is my memory isn’t what it was, but I’ve been very lucky really.”

Peter Catchpole said: “I think Mr Beattie is an inspiration. He is in remarkably good health and I think he is a great example to older people who may be putting off any procedures - it’s never too late.

“It was a pleasure to spend time with him on his birthday and to hear some of his stories.”

John Figgins added: “It was an absolute honour to meet Mr Beattie and to be able to celebrate with him.

“It was a wonderful opportunity and I was really pleased to hear he enjoys our Meals on Wheels service.”

West Sussex Meals on Wheels are delivered by WRVS drivers, who also provide customers with safe and well checks.

Both Mr Beattie and his late wife were WRVS volunteers several year ago and used to deliver meals to people in Hove.

Sue Farmer, WRVS Service Manager for Haywards Heath, said: “We’d like to wish Mr Beattie many congratulations on his 100th birthday. It’s lovely that he has had such a long association with the WRVS.”