FARMER Stuart Simpson has celebrated 90 years living and working on the same farm - the same week the Queen celebrated her ninetieth birthday.
Stuart, was born in the same week in 1926 as the Queen but in his own words was destined for ‘humbler things.’
He was the first son of David and Marjorie Simpson, tenant farmers at New House Farm, Winmarleigh, near Garstang, who spent their honeymoon being shown around Buckingham Palace by Marjorie’s cousin, the palace housekeeper.
And last Sunday, Stuart celebrated turning 90 by farming his 110 acre farm, driving his Landrover round the cows and sheep, checking fences and dykes and running the stables.
When asked about the secret to his long life in work, Stuart says he has to credit his wife and his genes.
He said: “I’ve been lucky with my genes, I think. I’m not taking any chances though, I read in the newspaper recently that sugar’s bad for you, so I’ve cut down from three sugars in my tea to one.
“Like the Queen has been lucky to have Prince Philip, I was lucky to have Margaret.”
Stuart’s wife passed away in 2005 after they were invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace to recognise Stuart’s 20 years’ service in the Royal Lancashire Show.
And despite his work on the farm’s tractor, Stuart claims he’s never had a driving lesson.
As driving tests were suspended for parts of the war, Stuart says licences were just handed out.
“I remember walking into Garstang Council offices on my 17th birthday, asking for a licence and just being given one,” he said.
“I’ve never had a lesson, I just got in the car and drove. I’ve been driving for 77 years and I’ve never had an accident. It was different back then of course because there was hardly anything on the road bar the odd horse and cart.”
Stuart bought the farm in 1974 and 42 years later he still has no intention of stopping what he loves.
He said: “I’m sure the Queen will live to a 100 and keep doing her job and I plan to do the same.
“They made us tough in 1926 you know.”