Bob Weighton from Alton, Hampshire is under lockdown like the rest of the country and will be unable to celebrate the title. The supercentenarian has said all the unknowns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic make it more difficult than both of the world wars he has lived through. He said he is concerned for the welfare of his family during the crisis, which has seen more than 27,000 deaths worldwide.
Mr Weighton, who was born in Hull on March 29 1908, said: “Everything is cancelled, no visitors, no celebration.
“It’s a dead loss as far as celebration is concerned.”
The retired teacher and engineer is one of the few people alive who lived through the Spanish Flu pandemic, which was in 1918.
He said: “I only read about it in history books when I got older.
Bob Weighton will not be able to celebrate his 112th birthday
Bob when he was a teacher in his youth
“Actually I wasn’t aware there was a Spanish Flu around because none of my brothers and sisters or people I knew were affected.
“I am sure they were, but a child’s world is not an adult’s world, a child doesn’t read the newspapers and there was no radio in those days so you didn’t get news in the sense you get it thrown at you in all directions nowadays.”
He said: “In the Second World War you knew what you had to do, you might fail but the objectives were clear as Churchill rallied the country behind him, ‘We will fight on the beaches’, etc etc.
Bob has lived through two world wars and the Spanish Flu pandemic
“We knew exactly what we had to do. That was an objective that you could possibly reach, but nobody knows how we are going to defeat the virus.”
With regards to self-isolation, he said: “It means that I have to be more self-sufficient, do my own cooking, cleaning, read the books that I haven’t read.
“I am less capable of doing things for myself than I was 10 years ago – I can’t lift the weights, I can’t move as fast, I can’t even dress myself properly.
“I depend very much on other people these days.”
The great-grandfather celebrated his 111th birthday last year with his friends.
Mr Weighton said he didn’t think he would live as long as he has done: “I never intended to be this old.
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“When you are young, you don’t think about what is going to happen when you’re old, you’re self-engaged, all you think about is the here and now.”
But he did say that his wide general interests from reading to constructing model windmills keep him active and young.
“Those are things you do either naturally or don’t do. People who complain are those who don’t explore things that they might do themselves,” he said.
Mr Weighton added he has turned down the traditional birthday greeting from the Queen.
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“I won’t be getting one because I don’t want one,” he said.
“I had about 10 and I don’t see why I should require the Queen to keep giving me cards. It costs the taxpayer not her something, so I have selected one in which she is smiling, looking happy and contented and that’s the one I like and I keep that.”
The father-of-three, who is one of seven himself, has 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.
Published at Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:37:00 +0000