'Whisky and cigar' secret to long life

A DROP of whisky and the occasional cigar - that's the secret to a long life for one Suffolk centenarian.

A DROP of whisky and the occasional cigar - that's the secret to a long life for one Suffolk centenarian.

More than 150 people turned out to celebrate the 100th birthday of Harry Balls this weekend.

Mr Balls, who is Leiston born and bred, worked on the Richard Garrett Engineering Works from the age of 14 as a fitter

He was later employed at the yard at Leiston Building Supplies until around 1985 and also served in the town's fire service from 1936 until 1964 - driving the engine.


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In 1937 he married Irene Clements, who died at the age of 79 in 1992, and is still a member of Leiston's Lord Nelson Lodge of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes and the Home Guard.

He has four children, eight grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren - with one more due in two weeks time.

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On Sunday friends and family gathered at the LTAA in Leiston for a party to celebrate his 100th birthday, which was last Tuesday.

Mr Balls' daughter Pat Newson said: “He still likes a drop of whisky and the occasional cigar. He is very well known and still does incredibly well for himself.

“It was a great day. We were thrilled with how many people turned up and he got up and did a brilliant speech.

“We had a lovely birthday cake with a fire engine on top. He had a cigar and was given 18 bottles of whiskey. He really enjoyed himself.”

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