READING resident, Arthur King, is celebrating his 105th Birthday on Wednesday 8th August at the Maples Wellbeing Centre in Caversham.
Arthur’s friends and family will be marking the occasion with a special celebratory party at the Maples – the Council’s Wellbeing Day Care Centre, based at Rivermead in Caversham. Arthur is the longest member of the Maples and has been attending for almost 20 years.
The birthday party at the Maples starts at 12.30pm and the Mayor of Reading, Cllr Debs Edwards, will be attending, alongside all of Arthur’s friends and family, to wish him a happy birthday.
Arthur, was born on 8th August 1913, when George V was on the throne and Herbert Henry Asquith was Prime Minister. This was also the same year Emily Davison, a suffragette, ran out in front of the King’s horse, Anmer, at the Epsom Derby. He has lived through two world wars and has seen a huge amount of changes in his lifetime.
Arthur, who is affectionately known to his family as ‘Granddad Grip’, was born in Tottenham in north London and grew up in a big family with 3 sisters and 4 brothers. He moved to Reading just before the start of WW2, where he met his wife Jessie, who was from Caversham. They were happily married for 60 years, with two daughters. Arthur has lived in Southcote since 1953 and today he has 6 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren and 2 great, great grandchildren!
Arthur served as an anti-aircraft gunner during the war and then worked in telecommunications. He was stationed in Iceland for a time. After the war he worked as a clerk at Royal Signal Records in Caversham. His hobbies included touring on his bike and gardening on his allotment. He still enjoys tackling the daily crossword in his newspaper.
Wendy Levey, Arthur’s daughter, said: “Dad is such a positive, happy and contented person and all his family and friends are excited to help him celebrate such an impressive birthday!”
Cllr Debs Edwards, Reading’s Mayor, said: “I’m delighted to be able to help Arthur celebrate his 105th Birthday. Arthur is impressively the longest attending member at the Maples , having started here is 1999. He is much loved and valued by everyone here and we all wish him the best on his special day!”
Arthur will also be celebrating his birthday with all his family at his favourite restaurant the Beefeater in Southcote, where he is a much loved regular with the restaurant staff.
Photo opportunity: The media are welcome to attend the birthday celebrations from 12.30pm at the Maples, Rivermead, Caversham. Please contact the press office if you would like to attend.