Happy birthday! We've both reached the age of 100

EVEN at the grand old age of 100, an academic from Malvern is keeping up with the times.

When Albert Ludford celebrated his 100th birthday on Saturday, the former university lecturer will only need to log on to his laptop to find a swell of good wishes from family, friends and students.

Dr Ludford spent almost 25 years in the academic world, lecturing in geology.

But he could not resist the classroom even in retirement, signing up for a college computer course about 10 years ago to ensure he can keep in touch with people all over the country from his home in Poolbrook Road, where he still lives independently.

Dr Ludford was born in Willenhall, Staffordshire, and studied at Birmingham University before joining the Royal Artillery in 1940.

During his time with the army he was later appointed as a geologist for the Inter Services Topographical Department, attached to the Royal Engineers, and became the only Royal Artillery officer employed as a geologist during the war.

Based in Oxford, one of his assignments was to prepare coastal maps for tank landing places in the Far East, before further work in Scandinavia, Calcutta, Bangkok, and even surveying the length of the Burma railway.

After leaving the forces he was appointed to teach geology for the external London BSc at Luton College, now the University of Bedfordshire, and spent 23 years there before retiring.

He moved to Malvern in 1987 with his wife Ellen, who died in 2001.

Dr Ludford’s 100th birthday is being marked with a double celebration.

He has recently been recovering at Howbury House, in Pickersleigh Grove, after illness, and staff and residents threw a party for him.

He has now returned home and on Sunday was joined by family and friends – including his 35 nephews and nieces – for a celebration at the Three Horseshoes pub.

Meanwhile, another 100- year-old from Malvern was pleased as punch to receive a card from the Queen congratulating her on her milestone birthday.

The special royal greeting took pride of place among Marjorie West’s collection of cards and balloons as she celebrated her 100th birthday at Mowbray Nursing Home, Victoria Road, on Wednesday, February 6.

Mrs West enjoyed visits from friends in the morning before staff presented her with a cake and a rendition of Happy Birthday later on in the day.

Mrs West has only been at the home for a few months but has already endeared herself to the staff there, with acting manager Hita Patel describing her as “quite the character”.

Mrs West grew up in London but moved to Malvern many years ago when her late husband Wally came to work at the Royal Radar Establishment (RRE).

It was a mutual love of dancing that brought them together, with their first meeting coming at a forces function while she was serving in the Wrens and he with the Marines.

In her younger days, Mrs West was also a keen billiards player and she has always loved the great outdoors – staff saying she took great delight in a snowman built outside her window during the recent wintry weather.

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