Donald gets fourth card from the Queen

JPCT 060912 100 year old Donald Picking. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 060912 100 year old Donald Picking. Photo by Derek Martin

A Horsham man, who has already had three wedding anniversary cards from the Queen, received a fourth card last week as he turned 100.

Donald Picking of Mill River Lodge, Duke Square celebrated 65, 70 and 75 years of marriage to Elsie before she died in 2009.

His two sons and daughters in law and two of his three granddaughters were among those celebrating his 100th birthday with him on Thursday.

His daughter-in-law Margaret said: “He really enjoyed it. He got his card from the Queen and it was a really nice message inside.

“He also had one from Ian Duncan-Smith (the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions).

“He got a lot of cards and the people at Mill River put of a really good party for him. He has dementia, but on the whole he’s absolutely amazing. People at Mill River who didn’t know him couldn’t believe his age.”

Born in Yorkshire, near Ilkley, Donald has lived much of his later life in the Horsham district.

He married Elsie in Steyning Parish Church in 1934 and they had two sons, David and Brian.

Elsie and Donald lived in Charlton Court in Steyning, Redford Avenue in Horsham and later moved to Osmond Court in Billingshurst where the couple celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.

Elsie died shortly after thebig event and Donald has since moved to Mill River Lodge.

Margaret said: “He was in the navy and served in the Far East. He served on the Goathland, named after the place in Yorkshire.

“They lived in Steyning most of their married life. He was in the building trade with Hoving Taylor - a very well known Horsham firm - and he was well respected.

“He did a lot of work with Horsham parish church. They also belonged to the Camera Club.

“A lot of people would have known him. He belonged to Billingshurst Bowls Club for over 25 years and is an honourary life member.”