Meet The 100-Year-Old Who Puts His Long Life Down To Never Skipping Dessert

Every time a local newspaper does a story about an old timer turning 100, they are duty bound to ask them the secret of their longevity.

Well, for 100 not out Lesley Hayman from Ilminster in Somerset, the answer is simple: cakes, and plenty of them.

Now, I'm not sure that this advice will pass much medical muster, but the results are there to be seen. Lesley turned 100 this week and is still fit and healthy, despite what his family describe as his "tremendous appetite".

"It's incredible really, he never leaves anything and never skips dessert," said his daughter-in-law Jennifer, who is herself 74 years of age.

Credit: Francis Hawkins/SWNS
Credit: Francis Hawkins/SWNS

His son, Tom, also 74, added: "He is active and you'll still find him out doing the gardening. He's an amazing man. He eats more than me - we don't know where he puts it all."

Admittedly, the Hayman family have never been short of a dessert or two.

Lesley is a retired baker and once ran a chain of five shops around Somerset, with outlets selling pies and pastries to the public in Chard, Shepton Beauchamp, South Petherton and Ilton as well as his native Ilminster.

His grandfather was a baker, as was his father - and after Lesley, son Tom and granddaughter Claire have also gone on to run the family business, which was started in 1890.

Credit: Francis Hawkins/
Credit: Francis Hawkins/

Lesley began as a baker's boy in the 1930s before his working life was interrupted by the Second World War. He joined the North Devon Yeomanry in 1939 and fought in the liberation of Italy in 1942.

Lesley had a lucky escape when his tank was blown up by the Germans, but managed to get out of the vehicle via a turret that his fellow soldiers had forgotten to close.

He returned to the West Country and his family bakery at the end of hostilities, where he worked until he retired.

Lesley was married twice, to Renee and latterly Kathleen, and managed to produce three children, who in turn provided him with five grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

Every 100th birthday deserves a major party, of course, and for a man who loves a sweet treat as much as Les, there will be no scrimping on the knees up.

The Hayman family are heading to a local hotel for a nice meal - followed, of course, by a hefty dessert.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Mike Wood

Mike Meehall Wood is a freelance journalist and translator. He writes for LADbible, VICE and countless sports publications, focusing on rugby league, football and boxing. He is a graduate of Leeds University and maintains a fizzy pop obsession. Contact Mike at [email protected]

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