A farmer and keen lawn bowls player has reached the all-important 100, celebrating his centenary birthday in Helston.

Harold Stephens, originally from the Burras area and more recently living in Penhellis Nursing Home, reached the milestone birthday on Thursday, celebrating with family and lifetime friends.

Harold was born at Bolitho Barton Farm near Black Rock, close to Burras on the Helston to Redruth Road, as brother for his sister Inez, in December 1919.

He went to school at Nine Maidens and later to Hayle Grammar School.

His father died suddenly when Harold was 15 so he had to give up school to run the farm.

During the war he was also a member of the Aircraft Recognition Corps, which was based at the top of Crown Beacon, a part of the farm.

Harold met his future wife Joan Perry at a family gathering when they were both in their teens. They married in September 1944 in Stithians with a reception at Trebarveth Farm, Ponsanooth, Joan’s family home.

Harold and Joan attended Burhos Methodist Church in Burras with their son Brian.

They were instrumental in the building of the new chapel which opened in 1963.

Harold was a steward and a trustee there for 70 years.

Harold in his farming years 

When they retired in 1976 they bought a plot of land in Helston, where they built their retirement bungalow and named it “Bolytho”.

Harold enjoyed gardening and used to grow all his own vegetables which he shared with his neighbours.

His wife Joan died in December 1987, the year of the Great Storm. Life carried on for Harold while he enjoyed the company of his family and friends.

He joined Helston Bowling Club and loved being on the green.

In 1991 Harold married Lilian Rose King and together they enjoyed a very busy social life and holidays.

Harold and Lilian were keen members of the Bowls Club, enjoyed ballroom dancing and sang in a choir.

They both enjoyed the garden and won prizes in the Helston in Bloom competitions.

They celebrated their silver wedding anniversary in August 2016 but sadly, two years later in 2018, Lilian died.

Harold later moved to Penhellis in Helston, where more than 35 people gathered on Thursday to celebrate his landmark birthday.

They included his son Brian and his family, and his step daughter Joy and her family, along with deputy mayor of Helston Tim Grattan-Kane.

He also received a birthday card from the Queen.

Harold's son Brian said: "I would like to thank all the Penhellis staff for the continuous care and support they give to dad.

"They have played a major role in helping him reach this amazing milestone birthday."