Veteran ‘Pick’ offers a lesson on long life

Albert Pickering celebrates his 101st birthday with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren
Albert Pickering celebrates his 101st birthday with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren

“Strong willpower” is the key to a long and happy life according to an RAF veteran and former headteacher who has just celebrated his 101st birthday.

Albert “Pick” Pickering, from Church Warsop, has been teaching others all of his life.

Brought up in Derbyshire, he signed up for the RAF during the Second World War, putting study for a degree in London on hold.

Albert was based at Skegness at first.

He worked as a physical education trainer to officers in the air force

He was then based in Torquay, Devon – and said he “enjoyed his time in the RAF”.

After the war ended, Albert started teaching in Swadlincote.

He then taught at The Park School Federation, on Orchard Close, Shirebrook, where he was the junior school’s first headteacher.

He retired from the role in 1982.

The school celebrated his 100th birthday last year by naming the school drive “Mr Pickering Drive” after him, and marking it with a sign .

Albert married Beatrice in 1940 and they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary before she died. He has two daughters, a son, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Albert celebrated his birthday on Sunday, April 8, by going out for a meal with his family.

He also said that when he was born he weighed as much as a bag of sugar and the doctors told his mother she would be lucky if he lived past the age of seven.

Albert still lives independently and goes on a weekly shop to Asda on the bus every week.

His family said they fondly remember spending time in his caravan at Sutton-on-Sea on the Lincolnshire coast which he used to have.