A MAN celebrating his 100th birthday has put his long life down to always being occupied.

William Henry Graham, known by most people as Harry, marked the occasion with a party at Rose Tree Care Home in Mickley, alongside his wife Doris.

Harry was born in High Heaton in Newcastle, and served in the RAF during the Second World War, spending time in Iceland.

After the war, he met Doris on the tennis courts at Exhibition Park in Newcastle.

The pair were married in the city, before moving to Darras Hall in Ponteland, where Harry designed and built his own house in the evenings after work. They had one son, called Stuart.

The couple lived in the house for decades, until earlier this year when they moved into Rose Tree for health reasons.

Harry worked as a surveyor at McAlpine builders for his entire working life after leaving the RAF, and the company presented him with gifts to mark his 100th birthday.

He worked on numerous high-profile projects in the North-East, including the Civic Centre in Newcastle.

But his pride and joy was his garden, which he tended to lovingly for decades.

Harry spoke of his sadness at leaving his garden to move to Mickley. He said: “I spent a lot of time in my garden. It was beautiful to look at.

“I had a greenhouse and grew tomatoes like nobody else. It was very nice – half an acre. I was sorry to leave it, but I couldn’t manage it any more. It was sad for me to leave the garden."

When asked what his secret to a long life was, Harry was in no doubt.

He added: “I think you must be occupied for as long as you can.

“You can do a lot more than you think. People get anxious about trying new things, but you can do anything.

“You should try everything and anything, that’s my view.”