100-year-old Henry’s real spark for life
A retired electrical engineer marked his 100th birthday surrounded by his family and friends in Woodchurch.
Henry Hall celebrated with his two grandsons and six great-grandchildren at his mobile retirement home in Shirkoak Park in Bethersden Road.
Born in Balham in 1915 as the son of a Royal Navy petty officer, you could say Henry is a true Londoner.
He was a choirboy at St Paul’s Cathedral as a child and was also a keen amateur boxer, before he trained as an electrician.
Electricians were seen as vital tradesmen during the Second World War, so he was not called up for active service.
Instead Henry worked his way up, becoming the chief electrical engineer for the City of London Corporation.
He worked on projects including a new heating system at Blackfriars Bridge and on the new London Bridge, and was eventually awarded the freedom of the city.
Aged 24, Henry met his wife of 72 years, Agnes, and they had one son, Terry, who also learned his father’s trade and passed on the skills to his own two sons.
Terry said: “He was always a good father to me. He got me into the same trade as him and I’ve ended up as a director of one of Britain’s biggest companies.”
His daughter-in-law Patricia Hall said the family gathered in Woodchurch where Henry retired 35 years ago with Agnes, who sadly died three years ago.
Patricia added: “He is London through and through. He always used to visit Kent and loved his garden.
“He’s a quiet man who gets on with his life. He doesn’t interfere in whatever other people want or don’t want to do.”
She said Henry was delighted to receive his card from the Queen and a card from the Department of Work and Pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith.
He is the last one of his generation who worked for the City of London Corporation, but his name is still very much respected for the work he did.
Henry Hall, aged 100, with his card from the Queen
Family and friends joined Henry at Shirkoak Park in Woodchurch to celebrate his birthday