St Albans care home residents celebrate 100th and 105th birthdays

PUBLISHED: 13:59 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:05 09 January 2020

Eileen Cook celebrated her 105th birthday with her family and staff at Verulam House Care Home in St Albans. Picture: Verulam House

Eileen Cook celebrated her 105th birthday with her family and staff at Verulam House Care Home in St Albans. Picture: Verulam House

Archant

A St Albans care home has celebrated milestone birthdays for two of its residents.

Roy Cooper celebrated his 100th birthday with his family and staff at Verulam House Care Home in St Albans. Picture: Verulam HouseRoy Cooper celebrated his 100th birthday with his family and staff at Verulam House Care Home in St Albans. Picture: Verulam House

Eileen Cook, who turned 105 on December 18, and Roy Cooper, who turned 100 on December 14, celebrated their birthdays at Verulam House care home alongside their families and staff.

Eileen has lived at Verulam House since May 2015, and was previously an infants school teacher in Harrogate before retiring in 1978.

Reflecting on her life so far, she said that she is most proud of being a good teacher and of her two sons, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Eileen also met President Charles de Gaulle of France when he made a state visit to the UK in 1960, in recognition of her support for pilots from the Free French Air Forces living in the UK during the Second World War.

Roy Cooper celebrated his 100th birthday with his family and staff at Verulam House Care Home in St Albans. Picture: Verulam HouseRoy Cooper celebrated his 100th birthday with his family and staff at Verulam House Care Home in St Albans. Picture: Verulam House

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She remains passionate about France, describing her main interests as speaking French, history, the Royal Family and her own family.

Eileen's fellow resident Roy also had a role in the Second World War as a sound ranging surveyor, before going into the building industry as an estimator and surveyor. He then moved into contract management and became contracts director for a London building contractor before his retirement - working on buildings including the Royal Opera House, an extension to the Natural History Museum and the St Albans Cathedral chapter house.

Roy bought a plot of land in St Albans and built a house which he designed himself, living there from 1957 until he moved into Verulam House in January 2017 due to ill health.

Eileen Cook celebrated her 105th birthday with her family and staff at Verulam House Care Home in St Albans. Picture: Verulam HouseEileen Cook celebrated her 105th birthday with her family and staff at Verulam House Care Home in St Albans. Picture: Verulam House

His son David said: "He was a man who could and would repair anything, and had an extensive and quality set of tools which were kept in mint condition.

"He was intensely practical and built a model railway in my bedroom when I was a child, and after I left set up an even bigger and more impressive set up his loft. He also enjoyed running miniature steam engines.

"He enjoyed reading, particularly historical accounts of World War II battles and strategy, as well as novels and factual books. He always wanted to know how things work and understand the science."

Verulam House Nursing and Residential Home is based in Verulam Road and was built in 1996, and is registered for a maximum of 50 residents.

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