Harpenden great-grandad celebrates 100th birthday

Sam Price and family at his 100th birthday party.

Sam Price and family at his 100th birthday party. - Credit: Price family

A Harpenden stalwart and great grandfather has celebrated his centenary.

Samuel "Sam" Price marked the occasion with a dinner for family and friends at Harpenden Golf Club to recognise the occasion. 

He was born in Oldham in 1921 and after attending Oldham Grammar School trained as a toolmaker. During WWII he worked in the munitions industry and did his National Service in the RAF before beginning a career in the motor industry. 

Sam married his wife, Joan, in 1945 and last year they celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. Sadly, Joan, who was very supportive of Sam, passed away some three months after their anniversary at the age of 97. They had three children, Mark, 75, Peter, 72 and Jean, who was tragically killed in a motor bike accident in Luton in 1999.

Sam Price

Sam Price. - Credit: Price family

Sam dedicated his life to manufacturing engineering which was very close to his heart and after the war he qualified in Production Engineering to Fellowship of the Institution. 

His career with General Motors commenced in 1960 at AC Delco in Liverpool and this eventually led to the family moving south to Harpenden in the 1960s when he managed Frigidaire in Hendon. 

After four years at Frigidaire, he returned to Liverpool as plant manager of AC Delco in Kirkby where he made a great success of turning the plant around after it had suffered many difficult years.

Harpenden resident Sam Price.

Harpenden resident Sam Price. - Credit: Price family

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He was subsequently appointed as manufacturing director on the boards of General Motors Ltd and General Motors Ireland, in which role he was responsible for all car component manufacture in the UK and Ireland at plant locations in Dunstable, Hendon, Liverpool, Southampton and Dublin. 

In 1980 he became plant director to manage the ailing Vauxhall Motors plant in Luton. After reorganisation he successfully introduced the Cavalier before retiring in 1984.

Sam Price

Sam Price - Credit: Price family

His 100th birthday party saw over 50 guests in attendance, including his sons, his grandchildren and great grand children plus a number of friends.