Centenarian’s birthday Bentley ride

WHEN Fred Roberts said his birthday wish was to own a vintage Bentley car, the 99-year-old was probably not expecting to be whisked around the Suffolk countryside as a passenger in the British classic on the day he turned 100.

But this Sunday his family rented a three litre, 1923 Bentley – a car which would have been driven out of the Bentley factory when Mr Roberts was just 13 – to celebrate the birthday milestone along with his telegram from the Queen.

With his seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren watching, Mr Roberts, a retired heating and ventilating engineer, cruised up the driveway to the Ickworth Hotel in the open-topped car, following his hour-long cruise around the country lanes.

He was then treated to a birthday meal and party at the hotel.

His daughter Christine Fenby said: “When we asked him what he wanted for his birthday he said a vintage Bentley.

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“Well, we couldn’t quite afford that so we thought the best thing was to make sure he got to be a passenger in one. He had a fabulous time and really enjoyed it.”

Mr Roberts moved to Abbeyfield sheltered housing in Clare shortly before his 98th birthday from his home in Leeds where he had lived all his life.

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