He’s survived Nazi bombing raids, worked 25 years on the buses and enjoyed 74 years of marriage, but a surprise cake from supermarket staff on Fred Brassington’s 100th birthday still brought a tear of joy to his twinkling old eyes.
The surprised centurion said he was ‘amazed’ when staff at the Co-operative in the Hildred’s C entre treated him to a bus-shaped cake and five £100,000 scratch cards during his daily visit to the store on his 100th birthday recently.
He said: “I never expected anything like it - it’s amazing.”
Co-op employee Gail Shooter and her colleagues decided to mark their eldest customer’s big day, having grown rather fond of the Sandbeck House resident during their daily chats at the store.
Gail said: “He is a lovely person and very outspoken for a man of his age - he’s lived a fascinating life.”
Nottingham born Frank had a humble start to life but soon proved himself a talented driver, first with a pork butchers firm and then on the buses where he worked for 25 years.
He said: “I loved everything about it - I was their number one driver.”
During World War Two he spent three days in chest deep standing water awaiting rescue from Dunkirk and when his boat finally arrived he was nearly blown up during a Nazi bombing raid in which shrapnel became lodged just half an inch from his spine.
Despite his brushes with death, Fred survived the war and returned to his darling wife Edna with whom he went on to spend 74 years of wedded bliss.
“My happiest memory is our 70th anniversary - we went to The Royal Hotel in Nottingham and had the best of everything - it was marvellous,” said Fred.
The couple had four children together, many more grand-children and several great-grandchildren.
Fred attributes his good health and longevity to saying his prayers every night and exercising every morning.