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Extra care resident is celebrating his 105th birthday!

Leonard Hodder’s dapper dress and chatty manner belies his great age.For this Easingwold resident of Springhill Court, one of the extra care schemes in the county developed in partnership with North Yorkshire County Council, is celebrating his 105th birthday.Family and friends gathered for the celebrations as well as Brian Taylor, the Mayor of Easingwold on Monday 26 July.  But Mr Hodder, who is a favourite at Springhill Court, is also being feted by neighbours, regarded by all as one of the more youthful tenants, in spirit if not age, and well known as a smart dresser and raconteur.Mr Hodder, as he is always known, is often to be found chatting to friends in the foyer or having lunch with his daughter Karen in Springhill Court’s Restaurant 21.  Though he walks more slowly these days, with the help of a frame, he requires no medication and charms everybody he meets. So what is his secret?  His immaculate suits reveal his roots – the son of a Derby tailor he joined the family firm on leaving school just after the First World War and later lived in Cornwall, where he married, then Reading and London where he worked at the Tower of London.  He retired to North Yorkshire 40 years ago.  A keen sportsman in his day he nevertheless puts his longevity down to “those genes”.He has thoroughly enjoyed his last two and a half years living at Springhill Court.  He said: “Springhill is entirely different to anywhere else, and I have lived all over, even in bell tents in the Territorials in the late 1930s.”   His daughter Karen is equally enthusiastic about Springhill’s facilities, her father’s “beautiful flat” and the security.  She said: “It is the way ahead for care for older people.”County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for North Yorkshire County Council’s Adult and Community Services said: “It is wonderful to hear of people celebrating birthdays, but this one is very special for Mr Hodder.  We are thrilled that he enjoys living in Springhill Court so much and is so independent.”


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