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Centenarian Bill Says ‘Be a Bit Rebellious’ is the Secret to a Long and Happy life

At Friends of the Elderly’s Davenham residential care home in Malvern, Worcestershire, the care team left nothing to chance in celebrating Bill Poulton’s landmark 100th Birthday with balloons, gifts, cards – including a very special congratulatory card from The King – and a delicious birthday afternoon tea.

Bill, who has been a resident at Davenham since March 2019, grew up in the West Midlands and attended Dudley Boys Grammar School and Queen Mary’s Grammar School – both of which are steeped in history. Dudley Boys Grammar School was founded in 1562 and opened its doors to pupils in 1898. In 1910, Dudley Girls High School was opened nearby and in 1966 both schools merged to form one mixed comprehensive school.

Founded in 1554, Queen Mary’s Grammar School, the Second World War had a serious impact on the life of the school with Saturday lessons abandoned, younger masters being called up to serve, incendiary bombs falling in the school yard and the playing fields having to be dug up for growing crops to be farmed.

Bill remembers his weekly pocket money, “I used to receive either a Penny or Half Penny, but it didn’t last long. I either spent it on sweets, ice cream or rubber bands which I used ping and launch surprise attacks on my parents,” Bill chuckled.

Growing up, Bill was very good at athletics. “I was a fast runner and won the 100 yards and 200 yard races at school Sports Days,” Bill continued. “I enjoyed sports and being outdoors.”

During the war, Bill joined the Army, “I can’t recall exactly how old I was but I do remember that I didn’t take to the Sergeant Major or Sergeant. I didn’t like the way they bossed me around. To be honest, I have never like anyone who tried to boss me around,” Bill added. “That type of behaviour has never worked on me or driven me to do my best. I hate any type of act of contempt.”                                          

Marrying his wife Joan, Bill’s career saw him move into the financial world and become a Banker, a high powered and responsible position. Happily now, Bill enjoys a quieter, less hectic life at Davenham.

“Bill is a charming resident,” said Suzanne Park, the Registered Manager at Davenham. “He’s very content and enjoys relaxing in his special chair and reading, joining in with some of our wide range of activities and chatting with the care team and the other residents.”

“I think my secret to such a long and happy life is my motto – which is ‘Don’t do everything you’re told to do’,” continued Bill. “You must be a bit rebellious – just a bit. It’s stood me well.”

“The other day I was talking to one of the carers who asked me if I could have any super power, which one would I chose? I laughed and said, what do you mean, I am a super power,” Bill continued. “I mean, reaching my 100th Birthday is a super power all by itself isn’t it.”

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