A FORMER miner has celebrated his 100th birthday with his wife, Freda, his partner of 80 years.

Tom Raine was born on September 6, 1917, while British troops were fighting in the First World War.

He was one of 11 children to Matthew and Ada Raine born in Sherburn Hill, Durham and followed his father to work in the pit when he was 14.

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In March 1941, he wed Freda, his sweetheart of four years and the couple went on to have one son, Melvyn, and two daughters, Kathleen and Alma, six grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and a great, great granddaughter.

Mr Raine worked as a miner for 40 years before joining Durham Constabulary as a handyman.

He now lives in an apartment at Maple Court in Delves Lane, Consett, where friends gathered on Wednesday to celebrate.

On Saturday his entire family is meeting for a party.

Mr Raine, who has never smoked or drank, said: “I am very pleased to have reached 100. I did not think I would. I was accident prone down the pit, usually when I was helping someone else.”