100-year-old Kelso man David credits long life to clean living

David Fulton turned 100 at his home in Kelso on Monday.
David Fulton turned 100 at his home in Kelso on Monday.

Kelso centenarian David Fulton celebrated his 100th birthday with family ,friends and his carers at his home in Kelso on Monday.

Born the youngest of seven siblings in Paisley, David served as a petty officer in South Africa and Kenya during the second world war and married his wife Jane while on leave in 1943.

Their first son, David, was born a year later and after the war, Dennis followed in 1948 and Ian in 1957.

During the war he was responsible for overseeing the repair lots and spent time in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

After the war ended he returned to his work at the Rolls Royce factory in Paisley, where the aluminium casting took place for the Merlin jet engine, before spending a year working at the firm’s Birmingham base.

Deciding that the city wasn’t for him, he moved his family to Kelso in the 1950s.

“I visited the Borders in 1953 and liked it,” he said. “I like the people and the place and remember enjoying walking along the river side in Kelso.

“You were allowed to go up and stroll through the grounds of Floors Castle and it was much nicer than Birmingham so we moved here.

“I prefer the Borders any time.”

In the late 1950s David took over the running of the former Henderson’s Foundry where he stayed until his retirement in the late 1980s.

“It was an old fashioned one at the time, so I brought it up to date,” David added.

A keen cyclist in his younger years, David cycled from John o Groats to Lands End as he “couldn’t afford to see the country any other way”.

“With a push bike you could go anywhere in the country,” he added. “I liked to travel.”

He also enjoyed days to the football, races and Burns suppers and in his retirement enjoyed visits to Europe and the Canary Islands with his one surviving son Dennis, who also stays in Kelso.

On Monday he celebrated with around a dozen of his carers who put on a fine spread and presented him with birthday cake.

“They look after me very well,” David said of his so-called Dolly Birds and Angels of Mercy team of carers from SBCares.

And giving away the secret to a long life, he added: “I don’t smoke and never have done and I don’t intoxicate myself.

“I enjoy a whisky, a brandy or maybe a glass of beer but no more than that.”