Wellingborough home helps one of the oldest surviving Barnardo’s boys celebrate turning 101

Happy birthday George!
Happy birthday George!

One of the oldest surviving Barnardo’s boys who moved to the county when he was just eight has celebrated his 101st birthday.

George Strong was surrounded by friends as he celebrated the milestone on Monday (June 18).

George celebrating his 101st birthday

George celebrating his 101st birthday

George is now at Dukes Court Care Home in Wellingborough, where they were more than happy to throw a party for him.

Guests included Brian and Gill Hillier, who used to be George’s neighbours and remain a big part of his life after he lost his wife in 1999.

Brian said they had a ‘really enjoyable afternoon’ and added: “Barnardo’s are unable to claim he is the oldest because they do not keep in touch with everybody, but they believe he will most certainly be one of the oldest and certainly the oldest they are aware of.

“He became a Bardardo’s boy when he was three-years-old and moved to Northampton when he was around eight-years-old so has an affinity with the county.

George celebrating his 101st birthday

George celebrating his 101st birthday

“For his 90th birthday, we took him to watch his first ever cricket match at Northampton and also to Towcester Races.”

Unfortunately George was not well enough to go last year when he turned 100, but one year on, he certainly seemed to be enjoying his birthday celebrations.

Barnardo’s is the UK’s largest children’s charity.

Its work started with founder Thomas Barnardo, who stood up for the most vulnerable children in society and opened his first home for boys in 1870.

As well as putting a roof over their heads, the home trained the boys in carpentry, metalwork and shoemaking, and found apprenticeships for them.

To begin with, there was a limit to the number of boys who could stay there.

But when an 11-year-old boy was found dead — of malnutrition and exposure — two days after being told the shelter was full, Barnardo vowed never to turn another child away.

For more information about Barnardo’s and its history, click here