Happy 100th birthday to Northampton's-own Reginald Blunt who has lived his whole life in our town

It was a busy day for Reginald Blunt on January 14 as he welcomed more than 40 of his closest friends and family into his home for his 100th birthday.

Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 3:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 4:00 pm
Reginald Blunt, with his wife of 79 years Pauline, celebrated his 100th birthday on January 14.

The born-and-bred Northampton salesman, who flew Tiger Moth planes for a passion and is a keen gardener, has lived at his home in St Leonard’s Road for over 60 years.

But his birthday card from Her Majesty The Queen is, in fact, the second royal card he has had in his lifetime - because he and his wife Pauline got one for their 75th wedding anniversary in 2014.

Now a great-great-great-grandfather, Reginald, Pauline and their family celebrated his 100th year with a lively house party on January 14.

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Reginald was born in Far Cotton on January 14, 1920. His mother and father were well known themselves for decades as the team behind the Far Cotton Working Men's Club

He told the Chronicle & Echo: "In 1939, I remember replying to an advert in the paper from the Army, who needed two dispatch riders to start duty immediately. I had just got a motorbike so I went for it.

"Two days later, the war started.

"I volunteered a number of times for service and to be a pilot. But at five-foot-three, they turned me down for being too short."

Reginald would later be called up for pilots training towards the end of the war, but was never needed for combat missions before the end for the conflict.

He then joined the RAF volunteer reserves for five years, where he was able to fly Tiger Moth planes twice a year to keep his pilot's licence in order.

Back in Northampton, Reginald became a salesman for Northampton-based firm W.Ekins in Bridge Street and sold men's clothing for around 35 years.

As a longtime resident in St Leonard's, Reginald and his wife were also struck by the Easter Floods in 1998. The stains from when the River Nene burst its banks can still be seen at high-water marks in his own living room.

"We lost a lot," said Reginald. "Everything had to go. But when everything was finally sorted we just went to Kenya for a holiday to get away."

This week, Reginald and Pauline welcomed dozens of friends to their home for a celebration.

He told the Chron: "I've got a good family - they've been as good as gold to me."

Today, Reginald and Pauline are grandparents to 16 children, great-grandparents to 11 more, and great-great-grandparents to one child.

His daughter-in-law Mary Blunt said: "We had a really fab time on the 14th. The house was packed. I think Reginald was shattered by the end of the day but we all had a lovely time."