Shropshire Star

'Spinach, the Shropshire Star and a glass of sherry': Bevin Boy Reg's life recipe as he hits 100

A wartime Bevin Boy celebrated his 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends.

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Reg Lewis, who has lived in Bratton, near Wellington, for the last 60 years, has an unusual explanation for his longevity: spinach for breakfast and a glass of sherry later.

Reg's daughter Carol said: "He is also a strong character which I think helps. He still lives at home."

She described the party at the Woolpack pub, in Shawbirch, on Thursday as being a 'lovely' event with 70 people attending.

Reg Lewis is celebrating his 100th birthday with family at the Woolpack pub, in Shawbirch, Telford. Picture by Phil Blagg Photography. PB112-2024

There was also a cake made in the shape and style of a domino, in recognition of his days playing the game.

"We had some nice food and everyone sang happy birthday," said Carol.

"His secret for a long life is spinach for breakfast. He also sits and waits for his Shropshire Star to be delivered as he has for many years, and has a glass of sherry."

Reg, a widower, who had one daughter and a large 'blended' family, still wears with pride his Bevin Boy Veteran medal.

The Bevin Boys were conscripted during the Second World War to work down the mines instead of serving in the military. He served at Madeley Wood Colliery, in Kemberton, from 1943 to 1948, replacing men who had gone off to the front.

But it wasn't until 65 years later that Reg received recognition for his effort in keeping the coal coming out of the ground to power the nation.

Reg, then 83, told the Shropshire Star in April 2008 that he found the work at the 18ins by 2ft coalface to be "physically hard" but an "interesting job and I worked with a good bunch of lads."

He added that it never did him any harm.

"I used to chew coal for indigestion," he said.

Reg was born in Rushbury, near Church Stretton, before moving to Broseley. He was cycling up until the age of 92, including up Wrockwardine Bank.

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