Budleigh’s Don celebrates 100th birthday

PUBLISHED: 17:06 27 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:30 27 June 2017

Don Papworth, pictured with Budleigh deputy mayor Tom Wright celebrated his 100th birthday

Don Papworth, pictured with Budleigh deputy mayor Tom Wright celebrated his 100th birthday


A well-known Budleigh man has shared the secret to a long life after celebrating his 100th birthday – take every day as it comes.

Donald Papworth marked the landmark birthday surrounded by more than 40 friends and family at his Northview Road home.

Among the invited guests was deputy mayor Tom Wright and Donald’s son Richard, who travelled from Brighton for the party.

Former chartered surveyor ‘Don’ received cards from The Queen, the secretary of state for work and pensions and his old school which he left at the age of 19.

Don said he doesn’t feel like a 100-year-old and joked that the key to a long life is ‘staying alive’.

Most residents will know Don as the person who travels around the town on his mobility scooter, but he was also an active member of the community.

Don, who suffered a stroke six years ago, still likes to get into town to eat at Slice of Lyme and Tea and Tittle Tattle and attended Age Concern, at the Public Hall, once a week.

He is still the president of the Royal British Legion branch in the town and a member of the Probus gentlemans’ club.

Don also served as president of the town’s flower club for ‘many years’ and was also treasurer of Budleigh Salterton Art Club.

He first moved to Devon with his wife in the early 70s after being posted to Exeter while working for the valuation office of what was known as the Inland Revenue.

He lived in Topsham until he was sent to work in Guilford but returned to Devon shortly after when his wife was diagnosed with a brain haemorrhage.

The couple moved into their Budleigh home, which Don still lives in, which at the time was a new build in Northview Road.

Don’s daughter Jenny said: “He used to joke that there was nearly as many pebbles in his garden as there was on Budleigh beach.”

Don retired in 1980 to look after his wife. After she died in the late 1980s he dedicated himself to helping others.

He spent 20 years driving for Hospiscare and also helped those living with disability with drawing and painting in Exmouth.

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