Secret to a long life? - Get yourself an iPad

Want to live to a ripe old age? ... Marry the person of your dreams, exercise regularly, eat well - and get yourself an iPad.

Arthur Thompson SUS-171220-121854001
Arthur Thompson SUS-171220-121854001

That’s the recipe for longevity according to Arthur Thompson - and he should know. For Arthur celebrates his 100th birthday tomorrow.

He was born on December 29 1917 in Loftus, North Yorkshire, as the third of seven children but has lived in Cowfold for the past four years after moving to be near his family in West Grinstead.

And as he marks his milestone birthday this week, daughter Margaret revealed that he enjoyed setting himself new challenges - and got his first iPad at the age of 97.

And his other secrets to a long and happy life? “Dad would say a long and happy marriage, daily exercise - at least a walk to the shops - keeping an active mind, following sports and having interaction with your grandchildren,” said Margaret.

Arthur served in the RAF from 1938 to 1947 and was posted to France, the Middle East and North Africa but settled back in Loftus where he married Dorothy Bothroyd in 1951.

Daughter Margaret was born in 1962 and the family moved to the nearby town of Saltburn-by-the-Sea.

Arthur worked for ICI for over 20 years until his retirement in 1979.

He and Dorothy moved in the mid-80s to Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire where he stayed until 2013 following Dorothy’s death in 2012 after 61 years of marriage.

Now Arthur lives happily in sheltered accommodation in Cowfold, enjoying a daily walk to get his newspaper and watching his favourite sports on TV: football - he’s is a keen Arsenal fan - and also enjoys watching England play cricket.

His other keen interests are gardening - having previously won a string of Britain in Bloom accolades with Dorothy. He also enjoys lunching out with Margaret and his son in law Steve at local garden centres.

“He is also interested in current affairs and is a proud grandfather to Jon and Ellie,” said Margaret.