AN AWARD winning ploughman and passionate stick dresser, Lawrence Batey, celebrated his 105th birthday on Sunday,

Lawrence, born on November 4th 1913, lived and went to school in Prudhoe before leaving at the age of 14, to work on local farms with his father.

As a teenager in 1928, he was working alongside his father on Keepwick Farm, near Chollerton.

When his father had finished milking the cows, Lawrence was tasked with delivering all over Hexham.

In the early 1930s, he moved to Ovington Hall Farm, where he learnt his hand in the horse-drawn plough and never looked back.

After five years there, he sought out a career as an established ploughing contractor.

After working at Nafferton Farm in Stocksfield, he went on to teach the art of ploughing to farming students around the region.

His esteemed career took after retirement at the age of 70 when he discovered the art of stick dressing. He made his name all over again, this time at the agricultural shows where he was a favourite among the judges.

In 2006, he presented Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, with a matching pair of walking sticks during their visit to Bellingham and as patron of the Border Stickdressers' Association, His Royal Highness was delighted and also sent him a personal letter on his 100th birthday.

Now a resident at Elm Bank Care Home in Hexham, he gets regular visits from his daughter Phyliss.

She said: "He's really good company, we're like two peas in a pod."

Lawrence added: "She's all I have now. I don't know how I would live without her."

Although his farming career is now behind him, the influence can still be seen throughout his room as his personalised paintings of Northumberland landscapes hang on the walls.