IT was a big birthday for Nick Small as he celebrated 100 years.
Friends and family of the birthday boy gathered together for his big day.
A special party was held to honour his centenary at Garden Hill care home, in St Michael’s Avenue, South Shields, on Friday.
Mr Small was also presented with a birthday card from the Queen, a telegram from Tory minister Iain Duncan Smith, and a framed poem penned by Garden Hill housekeeper, Anne Wayman, that describes him as “a pure gentleman” and “one of a kind”.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham, Mayoress, Stella Matthew, and council leader, Coun Iain Malcolm, also attended the milestone celebration.
Mr Small was born on April 17, 1915, to his parents Barbara and Michael.
He grew up in South Shields with his brothers Ted, John and Emmerson, and sister Emily.
At the age of 15, he began working at a foundry as an apprentice moulder and later went on to become a sergeant in the army.
He also worked as a bus and coach driver, and a carpenter.
He married his wife Ella on August 26, 1939, and they had three children, Peter, Michael, and Margaret, together.
Nick now has five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
He also has a life-long passion for politics.
He was a member of the Labour party and once had tea at 10 Downing Street along with his wife.
Coun Cunningham invited him to visit the Mayor’s Parlour.
She said: “It was an absolute pleasure to visit Mr Small to help him celebrate his 100th birthday.
“It was lovely to join in the celebrations at Garden Hill Care Home to mark this milestone occasion and wish him all the best on behalf of the people of South Tyneside.”