AN elderly man marked his 104th birthday at a care home surrounded by loved ones.

John Richardson celebrated the occasion at HC-One’s Eden House care home in Bishop Auckland with family members, fellow residents, staff, local nursery children, and the Mayor of Bishop Auckland Cllr Joy Allen.

Born on February 4, 1916, in Ferryhill, County Durham, Mr Richardson met and married his wife Veronica and went on to have a daughter, Norma, and two grandchildren, Caroline and Simon.

In 1941 at 24, Mr Richardson was called up to join the forces and was stationed in Liverpool as a cook.

After the Second World War he returned to work as a baker in Ferryhill until 1955 when he swapped the night shift in the bakery for the day shift on the railways, carrying out maintenance.

In his younger days Mr Richardson spent his time gardening, walking and travelling by train.

To celebrate his milestone birthday, a special party was organised for Mr Richardson, which included a magic show for the younger guests and a traditional afternoon tea.

When asked what his secret to a long life is, he said that he believes it is being content with what you have.

Emma Wade, home manager at Eden House, said: “I am so pleased we were able to help John celebrate his special day, the smile on his face really said it all.”