Former Northampton newsagent has first-ever birthday party... aged 100

Stan Shipley with wife, Win
Stan Shipley with wife, Win

A man from Northampton has celebrated his centenary with a party thrown by his friends at a local working men’s club.

But the event was slightly more notable for Stan Shipley than other 100-year-olds as he had never before had a birthday party, even as a child.

Friend Lesley Brett - who organised the bash at St James Working Men’s Club along with another friend, John Barrell - said Stan was glad he agreed to it.

She said: “His wife nearly punched him beforehand, because he told us he had second thoughts and would rather spend the day at home. I told him I’d carry his chair if I had to.

“But once he got to the club he was pretty much skipping about the place. There were lots of family from both sides he’d not seen for a while and who was really surprised were there and a woman who had been a neighbour of his when she was a child.

“The club even made him an honorary member.”

Stan was born in Park Road, St James, and his parents owned the newsagent’s there.

After national service in the air force and working in the lasting room of a shoe factory, he took over his mum and dad’s business in 1946.

However, in 1968 the paper shop was compulsorily purchased for the construction of flats.

Stan went on to work for a bakery until he retired.

He still lives in St James with wife Win, who is 92. His friends say he likes a pint or a sherry and a good chat about the old days, although he has been less keen to go out socialising in recent years.

Asked whether Stan’s great experience has made him want to have a party next year, Mrs Brett said: “Probably not. I think once might be enough for him. He did love it, though.”